In the world of single-board servers, Icewhale handcrafted a crown jewel ZimaBoard hackable server. The name justifies itself as there are several elements in the ZimaBoard that elevate its applications and usability. From home server to router, its applications are limited to your imagination.
It is the perfect single-board server for creators that comes with the perfect mix of power and expandability. In this detailed review, we will go through all the aspects of the board and see whether the product walks the talk or not. So, stay tuned till the end.
With ZimaBoard, you can enjoy three variants and get the one that fits your budget and requirements.
- ZimaBoard 216: Here, you get a dual-core processor with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage at 119.9 dollars.
- ZimaBoard 432: With this variant, you will enjoy quad-core processors, with 4 GB RAM and 32 GB Storage, at 159.9 dollars.
- ZimaBoard 832: The high variant that we are reviewing offers a quad-core processor with 8 GB RAM and 32 GB storage at 199.9 dollars.
ZimaBoard 832 Complete Review
The 138.7 x 81.4 x 34.9 mm ZimaBoard comes with an elegant and unique design. The overall weight and dimensions of the board allow you to carry it anywhere, increasing its flexibility. The base of the board is covered with polycarbonate material which protects the PCB (Printed Circuit Board)and enhances its aesthetics.
The top of the board comes with a solid heat sink which avoids any overheating issues. There are no fans to dissipate heat, so there is no disturbing noise. The board comes with a passive cooling system allowing it to perform well even under stress conditions. The overall looks are alluring, making it perfect for the geeks to showcase the board in their setup.
Ports & Usability
While most of the single-board servers utilize their USB port as a power inlet, ZimaBoard 832 comes with a separate barrel connector (6-Watt). The model comes with 32 GB eMMC storage which may limit you from storing a lot of stuff on the board. However, with its port expandability, you can remove the limit easily.
It comes with two USB 3.0 ports and Ethernet ports, along with a mini display port. An HDMI or USB C port would have been better for video output, but the ZimaBoard 832 is capable of handling 4K resolution with a 60HZ refresh rate. So, you can use an adapter according to the type of display you want to couple with it.
Moreover, you get two SATA ports and one PCIe 2.0 x4 port on the board to further enhance its usability. You can use the PCIe port to couple add-on cards like GPU or any other according to your needs.
The ZimaBoard 832 is well equipped to the modern PC standard without any attachments. With its variety of ports, you can enhance its capabilities and convert it into a solid powerhouse.
With 32 GB eMMC storage in place, the ZimaBoard 832 is capable enough to serve as a quick file server. You can connect any storage device using the USB port and access your data. Even when it comes to retro gaming, which is not an easy task to handle, ZimaBoard 832 offers no lag in the gameplay experience.
The variety of sorts allows you to fit the board in different scenarios adequately. The high versatility gives you the freedom to add peripherals, storage, and other add-ons according to your project needs. The board will hold its ground as a true server and handle multiple applications with ease.
The ZimaBoard 832 comes with a preloaded version of Linux OS< knows Casa OS. The CasaOS is based on Debian and allows you to run docker applications. The OS takes care of all the essentials. It comes with an inbuilt file server and an App Store to further enhance its usability.
However, you have to locate the device on your network to access it. You have to identify the IP address of the board and point the browser towards it. The browser comes with drag-and-drop features. The left pane gives you information on the elements of the boards, like network status, storage, temperature, etc., and the right pane offers the App Store.
A decent user guide will help the users to understand everything properly and operate the board without any unnecessary trouble.
You can configure the board to handle other OS like Windows, Linux, Android, OpenWrt, pfSense, and Libreelec.
With its high versatility and ease of use, you can couple the board with the required accessories and use it for different projects.
You can convert the ZimaBoard 832 to a solid media server for home. You can keep your data safe and private at your home without paying any installation or subscription fee for the applications. You will enjoy better downloading and uploading speed without any need to split your data between public clouds. You can expand the storage with two SATA ports and create a personal cloud for easy and quick backup of your data.
You can convert the ZimaBoard into a hardware router and enjoy a secure VPN connection. You can access the blocked websites in your region and route the internet through your home network. Traffic shaping, real-time crypto alerts, or QoS, there are plenty of applications with ZimaBoard 832 in the networking domain.
You can create a personal server with ZimaBoard 832. According to your domain or industry, you can use it as a web server, print server, git server, or chat server. It offers high performance and comes with a budget-friendly tag.
File Collaboration and sharing
You can boost the performance of your team by setting up a shared disk space in your office or home for your data. Your team members can edit, share and perform other operations on the data(images, videos, documents, etc.) on multiple systems with ease.
Icewhale has launched an exceptional device that comes with powerful performance. With several ports in its arsenal, ZimaBoard 832 can fit in several scenarios and offer high performance even under pressure conditions.
There are several other models and accessories offered by the company for the board to improve its usability. You can check out its variants and pick the one that caters to your needs and fits your budget.