For all their indispensability, airport security checks never feel pleasing. But a security check becomes most nettling when security officials place a request for your laptop to be scrutinized with X-rays. As things stand, laptops can’t be X-rayed properly while still inside a laptop case and have to be removed. But all this is set to change – at least in the U.S – with the Transportation Security Administration having acceded to allowing a new kind of X-ray friendly case that will allow X-ray machines to scan laptops, while still in the case.
Read on merrily as after the jump lies all the information regarding these checkpoint friendly laptop bags including their expected prices. Also don't be shy to join the discussion in the comments section with other typically insightful Maximum PC readers like you.
We find ourselves wondering how a company like NZXT can do a better job of creating a budget version of Antec’s gamer line than Antec itself. That’s not to say the Three Hundred is a bad case; it just has little that’s special.
Hit the jump to discover what, if anything, the Three Hundred has to offer.
Does something about this case look familiar? That’s the first thing we said when pulling NZXT’s Tempest out of the box. Save for a few minor modifications to the chassis, this case is a carbon copy of Antec’s Nine Hundred chassis. It’s built like the Nine Hundred, performs like the Nine Hundred, and even glows like the Nine Hundred, thanks to its front- and side-panel blue LED fans.
And yeah, that's a good thing. Hit the jump for deets.
Rosewill tackles the low, low end of the cheap case spectrum with its $65 R5604-TBK chassis. But save for a few minor oopsies, the case makes for a breezy installation of all your computer parts. There’s nothing fancy about the R5604-TBK, no lights or other arcane mechanical trappings. It’s just a no-frills, screwless enclosure—you get an interesting industrial-style locking mechanism for the side panel, but that’s its most daring attribute.
Hit the jump for the low-down on this small, simple, so-so case.
Vroom. Vroom vroom. The unholy sound of this case will haunt you in your nightmares.
We don’t just want to give a 1 verdict to the person responsible for the power-on mechanism in this Ferrari-themed case. We want to strap him to a jet engine. Harsh words, but you too will be driven to undertake such bold action once you hear the ear-splitting rev of a car engine after you hit the F430’s power button. You can disable this “feature” by pulling the plug on the front panel, but hearing this noise even once is too much.
Fortunately, that's by far the worst thing about it. Hit the jump to discover a few things we did like.
We never thought we’d see a sub-$100 case with tinted windows, but lo and behold, Sigma’s Unicorn has lived up to its name and shown us the impossible by “blinging up” the exterior of an otherwise stale case. Like spinning rims on a minivan, however, not all of Sigma’s design decisions are well thought out.
To see what hobbles this unicorn, hit the jump. And believe.
Goodbye, next-generation systems: Thermaltake’s M9 chassis is a step up from the bottom rung of simplicity, but it’s nowhere near a top-of-the-line design.
The case is structured as if Thermaltake took a plain-Jane chassis, improved a few features—like making the PCI and 5.25-inch bay holders screwless—stuck in a front-panel blue LED fan to appease gaming audiences, and called it a day. That might not sound so bad, but in actuality, the screwless PCI holders become this case’s Achilles’ heel. And the arrow?
At first glance, Zalman’s GS1000 chassis looks like it’s a going to be a tool-free computer builder’s dream. And in many ways, it is. Zalman peacocks the hot-swap bays for your hard drives by placing them right on the front of the case, eschewing the more traditional combination of side-facing drives with a front-facing cooling fan. And many of the case’s screws are spring loaded. It prevents the accidental (and often frequent) loss of any of the case’s helpful thumbscrews.
And yet, the case still makes rig building a wee bit difficult. Click "Read More" to find out why!
Sweet mercy, at first glance Koolance’s PC4-1025BK case seems like a perfect power-user box. Unfortunately, this water-cooling-enriched case is simply too small to contain certain enthusiast hardware and too complicated for the average user.
When it comes to case design, innovation is a double-edged sword. If a company gets it right, it can win attention and accolades for introducing a fresh and functional approach to an otherwise stale and unchanging market. Let’s face it, a lot of new cases look just like the plain ol’ boxes of yore, with maybe a couple of new fan holes here and there.