|Lian Li PC-B25B Black Aluminum Mid-Tower ATX Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 23 October 2007|
Page 2 of 6
Closer Look: PC-B25B Exterior
From the onset, the artistic design used in the B25B is something I have yet to see from anyone else in the industry. Presently only available in black aluminum, this keeps things pretty easy for the consumer; especially since this color is also the most popular optical drive bezel color for the moment. In this review, I have kept my focus on comparing the PC-B25B against the upper-class segment of the case spectrum; and I have certainly kept its older sibling very much in mind as well.
Although the black aluminum alloy bezel door is complimented by a single back-lit blue ring, the black anodized finish gives this mid-tower ATX case more than enough prestige to make it desirable to everyone across the consumer spectrum.
For quite some time now I have been using the Lian Li PC-B20A Aluminum ATX Case at my home office. It has served me very well, but there are certain things about it which I see have either been improved where needed or kept despite my plea's. Lian Li delivers something in their other products which I have wanted in all of my cases: simple front access. But that's not in the design for the PC-B25B. This new case not only keeps the front bezel door, it adds a double-locking double hinge position design.
When it comes to computer cases, everyone is a critic. Nobody can claim to make the perfect case for everyone, since we as consumers seem to change our minds nearly every time we go shopping for hardware. One minute black is our favorite, and the next it's silver. Lian Li has a vast array of products to fit almost every need, and the PC-B25B Black Aluminum Mid-Tower ATX Case is among the few that will likely fulfill the needs of the majority: performance without the noise. By now you have noticed the unique design of the side panel doors, and we will later see why they hold more function than fashion.
In past reviews I have seen very sophisticated fan duct system or cowl channels, but in the PC-B25B the aspect of cooling is kept very simple. With the bezel door open the aluminum alloy case exposes the tall grill to two 120mm sleeve bearing fans offering ample cool intake air. Many of the cases we see here at Benchmark Reviews are very well designed, but often times fall short when it comes to cooling the most critical component of the computer system: the hard disk drive. Lian Li has earned my praise for addressing the issue and offering an exceptional hard drive cooling design in the PC-B25B.
There are no LED's to illuminate this fan, which is in my opinion a nice comfort away from the distracting laser light show which seems to emanate from several new designs other manufacturers have released. One standout (non) feature on the PC-B25B is the very simple front panel ergonomics. I am not a fan of searching the corners for the status lights and power/reset buttons, so it's convenient to have them in just one central location.
On the other hand, I am not a fan of opening a front bezel door to turn on my computer. Since every panel is colored black, the PC-B25B would become very difficult to locate in a dark room without the blue circle glowing from in front of the bezel; which means the door stays.
From this top angled view of the PC-B25B you can see that black and flat or two things the Lian Li soaked deep into every corner of the design; each and every sharp right-angle corner. At this point, I think the only sign shape is the circular item at the front of the bezel. No top fan vent is present, which almost makes sense for a full-sized mid-tower case with liquid cooling aspirations in mind.
I am relieved that Lian Li did not position the I/O panel on top of the case, as they have done with some of their past designs. Instead, the Firewire and USB ports are easily accessible from the right-hand side of the PC-B25B, which works out perfectly for people who position the computer to their left.
Around the back of the PC-B25B black aluminum mid-tower ATX case you will find your first signs of a non-black finish. There's a lot of new design built into this portion of the case, most of which I will discuss in our next section which outlines the detailed exterior features.