Lian Li is a company with a great reputation when it comes to designing computer chassis and yet that reputation has been a bit tarnished lately by cases that are unjustifiably expensive and utterly excessive.
Anyway, that reputation has been a little bit scuffed lately, though the company is still far beyond other manufacturers in almost every regard, and the Taiwanese case designer is eager to get back on track.
Cue the V1110 – it’s big, aluminium, spacious, thoughtfully put together and with edges so clean that we had to go have a bath (not together, thanks) before we felt worthy of touching it. It’s a return to form and…well, ok, we like it. Let’s leave the hyperbole at that and get right down to the gritty little details.
Tinny Boxy Goodness
The V1110 isn’t a small case. That was probably the first thing we noticed when we finally managed to get it out of the cardboard box and polystyrene frame. The Lian Li PC V1110 is, in fact, quite big. If we were going to hazard a guess at the size of the thing then we’d probably say it was 210x602x543mm (WxHxD). Roughly.
The first great thing about the V1110 though is that the size is actually quite deceptive. It may be big enough that we struggled to get our manly guns around it, but the case itself actually manages to look smaller than it is.
The trick, as any expert will pretend to know, is in the side panels. The sides of the V1110 are utterly blank and devoid of features. More than that in fact, they actually don’t even appear to have a seam where they meet the main body of the case. This is because the main chassis has hooks on the inside that actually grip the inside of the panel.
The only detail on the entire side panel then is a knurled effect around the edge of the side.
Now, there are downsides to this lack of detail – the panels pick up fingerprints incredibly easily and the jagged edges can end up costing you a graze or two, but the reality is it’s well worth it because at the same time the knurling stops you losing your grip. Plus, it looks damn good.
Moving around the front of the case, the main elements of the design are more apparent. The case has a removable door on it that can be repositioned to open from either side and can also be locked easily.
Most PC case doors that have a lock on them are utterly pointless as the door itself will be made from plastic so flimsy it couldn’t dissuade a determined paraplegic squirrel, let alone a full grown man (or, more likely, a curious toddler). The V1110 earns points here though because the entire construction is aluminium, including the front door.
Thus, the metal door keeps child-paws out of your CD drive and the rippled effect means that jam-covered fingerprints are a lot harder to spot and easier to clean. Consider the V1110 safe from the attentions of teething babies and nosy loved-ones – which is a big plus point considering the annoyingly placed and slightly loose power button in the centre of the case, beneath the door.
There are only a couple of other features present on the exterior of the Lian Li V1110 and that’s the set of hidden ports and some stealthed holes for watercooling. Both features are on the top of the case, with the ports neatly hidden under a flip-top Lian Li badge. The ports included under there are two USB ports, a Firewire port, headphone and microphone sockets and an e-SATA connector – there's nothing out of the ordinary there.