A few weeks ago we looked at Silverstone’s Über little micro ATX chassis, the Sugo SG03. If you've read the review about that pint sized PC case then, regardless of the incremental name, it’s likely you’ll recognise it’s clear genetic evolution in the SG04-H. The 'H' in the suffix is to denote that this member of the Sugo gene pool sports a handle, as the case is also available without one.
With dimensions of just 200mm x 417mm x 347mm (W x H x D), a case like this is all about portability. The size it ideal for uses such as mobile LAN rigs or something more powerful than your average laptop, or something to take on holiday to a remote part of the Lake District where the most advanced bit of technology is a tractor and the word 'gaming' refers to cribbage.
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From an aesthetic standpoint the most striking difference between the SG04-H and SG03 is the large carrying handle at the top of the case. We may be wrong, but we think that this ludicrously solid aluminium chunk of a handle is the reason that the SG04-H is about £30 more expensive than the SG03. At the time of writing, the regular SG04 (with no handle) hasn't appeared on sale yet to confirm our suspicions.
The chunky aluminium used for the handle is about 6mm thick in places and the chrome lined holes further add to the quality feel of it. Indeed, generally speaking the case is made with Silverstone’s usual brand of solid build-quality goodness, where the case is finished in the same glossy brushed aluminium as the SG03, while the handle differs in a matt-black anodise.
That been said, further aluminium has been added to the fascia for a cleaner, streamlined look. Rather than utilising a mesh like the SG03, the SG04-H features an aluminium door panel which arguably looks tidier but clearly is going to inhibit air intake to the case. Given that the SG03 faired badly in the performance stakes with its tiny dimensions providing little breathing room for the CPU cooler, this feature is strongly for aesthetic value only and was somewhat nerve racking when it came to test.
Fortunately though, the same mesh in the side panel is present, which sits next to the power supply mount allowing your PSU to suck clean air in and then exhaust hot air directly out the back of the case.
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On the left hand side of the case can be found a vanity panel which hides the front I/O ports and reset button. The I/O ports consist of two USB 2.0 ports, one 6-pin FireWire port and headphone and mic ports. Like the SG03, underneath this is the bezel covering the external 3.5" drive, which has also been finished in the same brushed aluminium.
The single external 5.25" drive uses a block of plastic covered in brushed aluminium that sticks to the optical drive door via a bundled piece of double-sided adhesive. It’s not often you see plastic in Silverstone cases (as long as nobody mentions the Raven) but if this piece was made exclusively of aluminium it would probably add another £30 to the cost. Perhaps the curved shape of the fascia inhibited the option of a more traditional hinge system to keep things looking suitably smart.
With the bulbous curves in both, the carrying handle and door panel we found that the Sugo SG04-H can resemble the office waste paper basket from Ikea (in the nicest possible way, of course). However, seeing it in the flesh, its tiny dimensions do bestow it with the same miniature appeal harboured by the SG03.