Retroflag PiStation first impressions (Raspberry Pi 4 case)
The Retroflag team, revered for their line of high quality Raspberry Pi cases, are back!
We’ve previously seen a number of cases from the team - including the NES, SNES and SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive, all of which received praise in our official GBAtemp reviews (see our NESPi4 review here and our review of their other cases here). However, this time the Retroflag team are jumping forward to the 32 bit generation and putting the spotlight treatment on the original Sony PlayStation!
Read on for our first impressions of the Retroflag PiStation.
Once again the team's outstanding attention to detail has recreated the original console design with meticulous care. The PiStation measures in at about 135mm in width, 95mm in depth and 38mm in height - approximately 20mm smaller in width compared to the official PlayStation Classic.
Like their previous NESPi 4; the PiStation is a Raspberry Pi 4 compatible case and will not work or fit any other Raspberry Pi models.
Though, unlike the NESPi 4, the PiStation has no built in/provided heatsink solution. Similar to the line of Raspberry Pi 3 cases before it, the PiStation is simply a shell with some extra boards for power and USB delivery. However, there is space to accommodate a 30x30x7mm fan and an extra 10mm or so between the Pi and such a fan for a more traditional adhesive heatsink like those that were commonplace on the older Raspberry Pi 3.
For most use cases this shouldn’t be an issue, but enthusiasts that are looking to overclock their Pi 4 in their upcoming build should perhaps look at alternative cases.
On the top of the case, we have working power and reset buttons as well as a functional CD door that pops open to reveal micro SD card storage as well as extra ventilation.
After attaching the 2 cables, the Pi 4 fits snugly inside with both HDMI and 3.5mm jacks available at the rear and is powered by a passthrough USB-C port.
Two USB 2.0 ports are available for attaching game controllers at the front of the case and the remaining 2 USB 3.0 ports and RJ45 network port are available via a removable side panel.
The case feels high quality with strong plastic that doesn't easily flex and incredible attention to detail. They even got the colour and fonts just right.
Although there is no built in heatsink solution, there is adequate ventilation underneath and along the sides of the case.
The Retroflag team did not stop there, however! Who remembers road trips with the PSOne model PlayStation and flip-up LCD screen? That’s right, for an extra hit of nostalgia, they went as far as to create a PiStation + LCD panel bundle.
This 4.3" 800×480 LCD connects to the rear of the PiStation and includes stereo speakers, HDMI out, volume and brightness controls and a handy button to force a 4:3 aspect ratio. The screen fits flush against the case and folds down when not in use. It's also sturdy when open and doesn't wobble when the unit is moved.
The screen is reasonably bright indoors with minimal ghosting and the speakers, while understandably tinny, get fairly loud. The screen even keeps the 3.5mm jack on the rear of the unit accessible so a pair of headphones can be plugged in.
Throw this unit in your car along with a controller and 12v USB-C power supply and you’ll never be bored waiting in traffic again! Just remember to keep your eyes on the road when driving!
Check out our photos of the PiStation and PiStation LCD above and below and stay tuned for more information.
The PiStation and PiStation LCD launch November 23rd for a yet unannounced price (we will update with details shortly) and will be available at Amazon and Ali-Express with other selected retailers following shortly after.
Retroflag PiStation Case + LCD (available Nov 23rd)
Retroflag PiStation Case (available Nov 23rd)
Will you be using the PiStation for your next retro emulation project or will you be opting for another case? Let us know in the comments below.