|nMedia HTPC 1080p Media Center Chassis|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Nate Swetland - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 16 August 2010|
Page 6 of 6
HTPC Case Final ThoughtsnMedia has made plenty of media center cases in the past, so they have had a lot of practice to get things right. I think that the HTPC 1080p case fits in very nicely with their line of products. It has cosmetic appeal for those that want their entertainment center to look as good as it performs. It has the form factor to allow for a small footprint, but still allow for a full size power supply, as well as an optical drive and three hard drives. I enjoyed such features as the flip down front panel that gives it a very discreet look, and the removable drive cage to allow easy access if you like to tinker or plan to upgrade your storage capabilities in the future. The optional Programmable LCD module can come in handy for those that like to listen to music, but not keep a display on, or for those of you that simply like to have easy access to information such as temperatures, bitrates, and the like. All in all, nMedia has put together another fine product with the HTPC 1080p, and if you are in the market for a HTPC case, this is worth a look.
nMedia HTPC 1080p ConclusionPerformance is perfectly acceptable. The two included 80mm silent fans provide good air flow to both the drive cage and the CPU. The addition of the vents near key components allow for worry-free performance of your components.
Appearance is always an important factor for something that is potentially going to be out in plan sight. nMedia does not disappoint with the HTPC 1080p. The sleek black case is paired with a shiny front panel that will look good in any entertainment center. The flip-down front access panel allows you to hide the optical drive and I/O panel, and gives a very discreet look to the case.
Construction seems of sturdy stuff. Some of the edges are a bit rough, and I highly dislike having to break out PCI slot covers. The drive cage is plenty sturdy to withstand a lot of use. The front flip-down panel seems a bit flimsy, but unless used heavily, it should last well enough.
Functionality is found several places in the HTPC 1080p. The front I/O panel provides plenty of access for USB devices, sound I/O, and easy access to your digital multimedia. The hard drive cage is a very welcome functional addition that I wish more manufacturers would take note of.
The Value of this case is very appealing. The nMedia HTPC 1080p case costs $59.99 from NewEgg as tested, which is very affordable for any type of media center case. The additional cost of the Programmable LCD Module may scare a few people away from that option, but omitting that from the case will have little to no effect at all on the overall value.
I can say that I would recommend this case for someone in the market to either build a HTPC system or move to a smaller (or even bigger) case. It is well priced, and has many high points.
+ Micro ATX form factor for good "middle of the road" options
- Sharp edges on the inside
Final Score: 9.2 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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