This year, we had a chance to meet with our good friend Jean-Pierre Skalamera representing Lian Li, one of the best case manufacturers in the world. We were excited to see what they had in store for us, as the company always seems to be doing new and interesting things with their cases, sometimes brilliant and other times simply crazy.
The first case we took a look at was the PC-Q12
, this is a slim-line case which already has its own PSU built in and fits mini-ITX motherboards in a slightly different form factor than what most people are used to seeing. You'll notice that it has a top exhaust fan and two USB 3.0 ports built into the front of the case. This case looks super clean and slim.
Next, we have the PC-Q09FN
which is more of a media center style case which features two USB 3.0 ports on the front as well. It also has the new Lian Li side panel attachment system which no longer requires screws but rather uses a series of metal rods that are welded to the side panel which then get pinched in their appropriate locations once the side panel is put into place. This tool-less attachment could either be extremely brilliant or a complete pain, we're hoping to test that out soon. This case also comes with its own PSU as a standard ATX size PSU would not fit inside this case. This case is a revision of their PC-Q09F which has a lot more connectivity in the front and doesn't have a centrally located disc drive. This case is probably one of the nicest looking HTPC cases out there.
After that we got to take a look at the PC-Q15
, which is yet another mini-ITX case with yet again two USB 3.0 ports in the front of the case. There isn't anything necessarily unique about this case other than the fact that it borrows a lot of the design cues from the much larger cases that Lian Li makes, in a much smaller form factor. This case also features a built-in power supply and allows for a single PCI or PCIe graphics card or sound card to be used. This case also has some nifty looking wheels, even though they're actually non-functional and more intended for looks.
The next case we have is the PC-Q05
, which we found to be one of the most interesting cases that Lian Li had to offer, primarily because we've never seen anything like it before in terms of size. This case is less than two inches thick and designed to effectively fit in ANY home theater or computer desk setup, yet it still manages to support desktop processors and up to two 2.5" HDD/SSDs. The motherboard is a proprietary one, but is designed to fit this specific case and as such allows for two USB 3.0 ports, DVI, HDMI, eSATA, LAN, two USB 2.0 ports and audio jacks.
Another new case we took a look at is the PC-Q18
, which features more full-case design in a still relatively small form factor. This case is also a mini-ITX case, but it supports a full length dual-slot graphics card as well as a full size ATX PSU. Because of this, this case is going to be geared towards a more enthusiast, performance market. The case also features a 120MM fan in the front as well as a 120mm fan in the top. It also supports up to four 3.5" HDDs with hot swapability and two 2.5" HDDs or SSDs if you do not wish to use a full length graphics card. Once again, it also has two USB 3.0 ports in the front.
After all of these mini-ITX cases, we were really excited to see what midtower and full tower offerings Lian Li had in store for us, we detail those on the next page.
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