|Thermaltake Element-Q VL52021N2U mITX HTPC Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Servando Silva|
|Thursday, 03 June 2010|
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Closer Look: Element Q Exterior
Thermaltake packaging is good. Once you open the box the chassis will be standing there between the Styrofoam and a plastic bag. All the accessories can be found inside the chassis to save some space in the package.
Thermaltake includes an AC power cord, screws, drive installation brackets and the warranty with the instructions. There's nothing more special included.
At first glance, the Element Q looks a little bit cheap. The front is made of plastic and the rest of the chassis is made of SGCC. The red strip on the front makes it look more like a transformer than a sleek HTPC case, so this isn't the chassis you want if you're looking for an elegant design.
The Power and reset buttons are big and there is an LED for HDD activity also. The 3.5" and 5.25" bays doesn't include an automatic open/close mechanism, so it's up to you to choose an optical drive which combines with the rest of the case.
The real "attraction" of the Element Q is that you can mount a standard 5.25" optical drive, thus meaning you can re-utilize your old DVD writer or buy a new BD-player without spending the difference for a slim drive. Considering a slim DVD drive can cost up to twice the price of a 5.25" drive, it can be appealing for those who think an HTPC should be as cheap as the size of the case.
At the rear, there's an expansion slot with full-height card support. The 220 watts SFX power supply also exhausts the hot air trough the rear, and finally, at the left side there are some holes to improve ventilation. Notice the PSU is right above the I/O shield, which definitively restricts the use of a 3rd party heatsink for your CPU. We'll have a look at this at the moment of building the system.