Pineboards' HatDrive! Nano Is a Teeny-Tiny Alternative to the Raspberry Pi 5 M.2 HAT+

Even if you're keeping cool with an Active Cooler, the HatDrive! Nano will happily squeeze an M.2 device into your Raspberry Pi 5 Case.

Gareth Halfacree
10 days agoHW101

Pineboards, formerly known as Pineberry Pi, has launched a new entry in its HatDrive! series of M.2 Hardware Attached on Top (HAT) add-ons for the Raspberry Pi 5 — and this version, dubbed the HatDrive! Nano, is small enough to squeeze into the official Raspberry Pi 5 Case along with the Active Cooler.

"With such a tiny M.2 HAT, you get to make use of NVMe [Non-Volatile Memory Express] SSDs [Solid State Drives], AI [Artificial Intelligence] accelerators, and anything else that makes use of an M-Key in this form factor," Pineboards writes of its latest hardware launch. "All with the added benefit of being able to use the lid on your official case to keep things neat and tidy. Want to use the Active Cooler too? No problem, you can!"

Like the rest of the HatDrive! family, which beat Raspberry Pi's own M.2 HAT+ to the punch, the HatDrive! Nano is designed to tap into the PCI Express lane available on a flat flexible circuit (FFC) connector to the edge of the Raspberry Pi 5 for high-speed storage and more. Where its predecessor took up almost the full footprint of the Raspberry Pi, though, the Nano flips the drive around — delivering a considerable smaller footprint.

The drive is so small, in fact, that Pineboards boasts it can be installed in the official Raspberry Pi 5 Case alongside the Active Cooler — a heatsink and fan assembly designed to keep the Raspberry Pi 5's high-performance system-on-chip cool under heavy load conditions — without blocking airflow. Despite its size, the board is fully-functional — including support for operation at PCIe Gen. 3 speeds, if you're willing to run the Raspberry Pi 5 out-of-spec, and mounting points for both 2230- and 2242- footprint M.2 devices.

It's not just the footprint the company has slashed, either: the HatDrive! Nano is the lowest cost model in the family, priced at just €9 (around $10) — a little over half the price of the HatDrive! Top Lite and less than half the cost of the original HatDrive! Top. "It's one of the most affordable options out there to make the ultimate upgrade from your aging microSD card," Pineboards claims.

The HatDrive! Nano is now available to order on the Pineboards store, along with a selection of official resellers around the world.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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