The X-QPack2 from Apevia is a case which has quite a lot of history with this site, for better or worse. Not only was the case's predecessor originally reviewed by Wil Harris back in the day, but the case itself has actually been sitting in the corner of our offices for the past week or three, slowly gathering dust.
I’ve simply had too much to do to get around to it and, if I’m going to be completely open about it, I’d much rather spend my time reviewing Portal than slicing my fingers open on a Micro ATX case. Hell, I could review Portal every day!
Still, every dream has to end someday, so I suppose it’s high-time that I got around to reviewing the X-QPack 2. It’s just a shame that testing it can’t involve playing Portal…
Have you packed everything?
Straight out of the box, the X-QPack2 didn’t…sigh. Wait. Before we go any further, I just want to publicly state how annoying a name the X-QPack 2 is for a case. I can cope with companies calling their case things like ‘Revoltec Zirconium' or 'The Hiper Anubis', but it seems like Apevia has chosen to just lump together meaningless letters in this instance.
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For the same of my sanity, I’m just going to call this case the ‘QPack 2’. Glad we got that cleared up. Now, where was I?
Straight out of the box, the QPack 2 didn’t particularly overwhelm me. The packaging itself is a vaguely repugnant shade of lime green and white, but I tried to put that out of my mind and examine the case itself. Unfortunately, things didn’t get much better. The finish of the case itself, which measures 9” x 11.2” x 14.7” (HxWxD), isn’t all that nice in and of itself. It’s a rough, matt-finish which makes the entire case feel like it first had coarse sandpaper taped to every surface and was then painted. Not a good feel.
The front of the case meanwhile isn’t as obviously bad, but does feel a bit…off. The bezel is obviously cheap plastic and has room for two 5.25” drives. Port wise, there isn’t much to get excited about; two USBs, an IEEE1394 Firewire and a microphone and headphone port. It’s worth noting though that the two USB ports are directly above one another, so if you’ve got USB keys with bulky casings then you may be in trouble.
The Martin Test, a highly scientific test developed by myself and which basically involves wobbling the power button of the case, didn’t fare too well either and the button wobbled in the housing a fair bit. That’s not really proof of anything, but does tend to be indicative of low build quality in my experience.
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One of the (somewhat) unique features of the QPack 2 is the handle on the front, which is according to the packaging a “sturdy steel handle” used for carrying the case around. I borrowed Hugo Jobling, news writer for TrustedReviews and who used to be a teenage hand model, to pose for a few pictures and his reactions confirmed my own thoughts. The handle may be steel, but the mechanism constantly feels like it will break even with an empty case.
The problem is that although the handle itself is strong, the plastic it is surrounded by isn’t and the handle, which extends about an inch out of the bezel, feels like it is always about to rupture out of its mountings and make a desperate bid for freedom. Except, of course, this isn't a Steve McQueen movie and such features should inspire confidence rather than give you sleepless nights about their construction so in the end I figured the best idea was just to not bother using the handle at all.
The front of the case also has a neat little CPU temperature monitor. The monitor display is incredibly basic, like a miniature calculator screen but without the ability to write rude words upside down on it, but I suppose it gets the job done. We’ll look more at how reliable the monitoring system is later, but for now we’ll move right on and have a look at the inside of the case.