|Lian-Li LanCool PC-K58W Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Friday, 15 January 2010|
Page 6 of 6
LanCool Final Thoughts
With the PC-K56W we had several complaints and wishes that were realized with the PC-K58W. This newer model shipped more fully assembled, with all the necessary parts, and with additional features. This case is wider, has room for two more fans, includes all the screws, and comes with a movable air filter. As mentioned for the other case you may need longer cables or cable extensions since the PSU is at the bottom of a large case. The control panel was also minimal. Only two USB ports and minimum audio jacks. It would be nice to have a front panel with full surround support. I also noticed the lack of any internal or fan lighting. It seems everything I see lately has at least one LED. I find the lack of fluff refreshing. LEDs can be pretty, and pretty useless. I'm not a fan of the grey interior and back panel, but that's a cosmetic issue that can be remedied by upgrading to the PC-K62. That's one of the things I like about this series. You buy what you want and have room to upgrade.
Out of the box this will be a decent performer. Two fans will provide good cooling for casual users, and there are two fan slots in the top to meet the needs of high-end users. When it comes to installation, the tool-less design is excellent. LanCool uses unique and functional designs which allow the motherboard, hard drives, and PCI cards to all be installed without tools. Unlike attempts of the past, if a part is incompatible with the tool-less mounts you can default to the typical screws.
The Dragon Lord series cases remind me of a Samurai Warrior in full battle armor. The Lian Li cases often have such radical designs that deter mainstream consumers. The PC-K58W keeps the Asian influence while maintaining a more moderate composure. The window on the side will show off your fancy internals. Finally, there are no flashy LED's which means the case is stylish enough that it doesn't need the fluff.
The case and components used inside were very sturdy. All structural pieces were made of sturdy aluminum not ultra-flimsy sheets. I appreciate the ubiquity of perforations around the entire case. Most cases only have air inlets right next to the fans. This case has room for air flow on nearly every surface. This should allow better cooling for all the drives as well as the motherboard and components. The case was made wide, tall and deep to allow for even the largest cards and drives while leaving room for the cables. I am a little concerned on the tool-less hard drive mounts that use a plastic-metal interface to hold the drive in place. Too many drive swaps might wear down the plastic till it does not work.
I had no problems working any of the features, and installing the hard drives was a snap (of plastic). There are plenty of bays, but one or two of the five 5.25" bays should have been swapped for the smaller variety. LanCool allowed for room for upgrades and modifications with things like water-cooling ports on back, a slotted motherboard tray, and removable back panel.
LanCool made a smart choice by offering useful, inventive features while cutting out the fluff. By doing this they provide an excellent case at an even better price. The PC-K58W can be found on NewEgg.com for $79.99, but prices fluctuate. The true value can be found by comparing other cases in the same price range. While it falls short in the number of expansion bays offered, it beats the competition in the tool-less build. If the front controls had more features or a better design this case would fare toward the top of its class. With bare minimum controls I'd say it rates above average.
This is an excellent all around case. It can really be used in any application. It is a safe purchase for the gamer or home-office user and allows upgrades as desire, time and money permit. The tool-less design and extra space inside make for easy access every time I swap a component. I would definitely recommend purchasing this case over the PC-K56W. Based on community reviews I would recommend this case over most of the alternatives as a safe, satisfying purchase.
+ Tool-Less PCI Card Holder
- Power and Reset switches too close to USB and audio ports
Final Score: 8.55 out of 10.
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