Folks have been using inexpensive single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi to create DIY home servers for about as long as inexpensive SBCs have been a thing. But the ZimaBoard is one of the first I’ve seen that’s custom made to be used as a DIY, hackable server.
The ZimaBoard is a small, fanless computer powered by a 6-watt Intel Apollo Lake processor with support for hard drives and SSDs.
It’s now available for pre-order for $80 and up through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and, if everything goes according to plan, it could ship to backers in June.
The ZimaBoard measures 4/7″ x 2.9″ x 1″ and has an integrated heat sink and a decent set of connectors that could come in handy if you’re planning to use the system for a network-attached storage device, personal media server, or roll-your-own Google Docs alternative:
- 2 x SATA III ports
- 1 x PCIe 2.0 x4 port
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
- 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A ports
- 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.2 (4K@60Hz output)
The system features LPDDR4 memory and eMMC storage, and it will be available in two configurations:
- ZimaBoard 216 with Intel Celeron N3350 (2-cores, 2-threads), 2GB RAM, 16GB storage for $100 (or $80 during crowdfunding)
- ZimaBoard 832 with Intel Celeron N3450 (4-cores, 4-threads), 8GB RAM, 32GB storage for $180 (or $140 during crowdfunding)
Both models should be able to support a range of operating systems including server-specific options like pfSense, LibreELEC, or OpenWrt as well as desktop (or mobile) operating systems including Windows, various GNU/Linux distributions, or Android.
According to promotional materials, the ZimaBoard comes from the same folks who make the LattePanda line of single-board computers with Intel chips… although I don’t see any mention of the ZimaBoard on the LattePanda website or social media channels.
This article was originally published December 10, 2020 and last updated January 20, 2021.