The New PCB Layout offers some obvious and some not-so-obvious advantages.
The integration of the connectors onto the Main PCB greatly speeds and simplifies assembly and hookup for builders - hopefully fewer wiring errors and requests for assembly/troubleshooting help.
The layout has some extra space at the rear of the chassis for larger heatsinks - excellent for the digital mode crowd.
The inclusion of the USB extension cable in the full package means easier firmware upgrades.
The integrated keyer and paddle jack are a nice feature - no need to add that messy pull-up resistor...hopefully there is some way to de-activate it to allow external contest-type keyer inputs.
The included fully-wired microphone is very convenient - The choice of standard 1/8" (6.35mm) stereo connector will allow the user to easily switch to digital-mode inputs. Just swap the cable.
The custom case in the full version, and front panel templates in the base version, provides for mechanically stronger and more secure assemblies with less chance of failure over time due to the movement of connections in the PCB headers and Molex (Relimate) connectors. The simple control layout and available unused front panel space should allow adequate customization of controls such as AGC and separate digital inputs.
It wasn't clear in the video if the menu functions can be accessed from the front panel tuning encoder knob as in previous versions...my fat fingered hands don't work well with small closely-spaced buttons or touch screens. Perhaps a simple cell phone soft-touch stylus attached via tether to keep it from getting lost would be handy in that case.
All-in-all an excellent upgrade!
Thanks Farhan and the entire HFSignals crew!
73 - Tom