The Argon ONE M.2 case features all the high-end features of the Argon ONE Raspberry Pi case but with the added feature of an M.2 interface for using M.2 (Key-B or Key-B&M) SATA solid state drives (not included). It also includes some updates over the previous generation of the Argon ONE case including full-sized HDMI ports, power management modes, and built in IR support for using the Pi with remotes. Unfortunately the M.2 SATA support does come at the expense of the USB 3 ports, but offers a great option for those looking to use the Raspberry Pi 4 with high capacity memory; uses such as media centers.
As mentioned above it includes all the features of the Argon ONE case. In addition to providing passive and active cooling to keep the Pi 4 running cool, it incorporates multiple pieces to allow for access to different levels of the board like a magnetic dedicated door for the 40 pin connector that provides pin numbers and labels. An included fan HAT provides software controllable, active cooling while the aluminum enclosure provides passive cooling through two extrusions that provide a heat sink for the ICs on board (thermal tape included). An additional interface board plugs into the Pi and redirects all the connectors (outside of the 40 pin) to the one side of the enclosure. But probably the best feature is a properly configured power button that provides the ability to safely shutdown, reboot, or force shutdown the Pi.
Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.
Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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Based on 2 ratings:
The case works well with the Raspian. I haven't had time to translate fan and power button control scripts to another operating system, although there are example projects on github. M.2 works well over USB3 The gpio pins are extended out the top of the case. Very handy magnetic cover for the pins. Fan works well, I set it to continuous instead of temperature controlled under the idea, “cooler is better”. I could have bought a cheaper case but all in all I am happy with this case.
I've used a few different cases before for the integrated heatsink feature, which I quite like. The FLIRC case is great for that. Then I saw a product review for this promising M.2 integration as well. It's just as amazing as it sounds. It's great booting from a 256G M.2 and the load times are dramatically improved. Anyone relying on fast SSD for high data throughput on their PI should really give this a try. It's much more satisfying than having an external M.2 dongle flopping around any time you have to move your device.
Retained for issue history: The USB jumper that came with mine is faulty. To see the discussion thread of the issue: forum.core-electronics.com.au/t/argon-one-m-2-wont-boot-from-ssd-with-supplied-usb-jumper/9195
EDIT: Customer service was very responsive to the problem and has sent out a replacement USB connector. I will update again once received.
EDIT: The replacement part works great.