Lian Li has a whole host of new cases coming to market before Computex - we paid a visit to its offices in Taiwan to find out what to expect.
Lian Li has revealed that it will launch no less than ten different case designs between now and this year’s Computex tradeshow in Taipei, Taiwan in June.
The designs will cover many different markets, including mainstream, home theatre and high-end and although we haven’t seen all of the new cases, the ones we have seen in the flesh are looking pretty awesome.
While the Armoursuit PC-P80
split opinion in the bit-tech
offices, I’m sure that some of the newer cases are a return to form for Lian Li – the sleek and stylish designs are back. The company’s representatives say that they’re excited to see how some of the new cases are received by the community – it really believes it’s onto something good.
Of the cases we saw during our visit to the company’s offices in Keelung City in the North East of Taiwan, there were a few that really caught our eyes.
First of all, the company’s new home theatre cases—the PC-C36 and PC-C37—look promising with some interesting new ideas. One complaint that Lian Li said it had from its previous HTPC cases was the support bar across the middle – it was fixed in place.
PC-C36 (above left), PC-C37 (above right) - click to enlarge
With these two new designs, the bar is removable, which will definitely make the installation process a lot easier. There are other enhancements too – both feature a small PCB at the front that apparently allows you to boot into a Linux distro to search for (and presumably playback) media files.
The PC-C36 comes complete with a TFX power supply, while the PC-C37 supports standard ATX PSUs – there’s no word on pricing on either of the designs yet as it’s still being finalised, but we’ll get hold of that information as soon as possible.
We then moved back to more standard full tower designs, of which the company showed us three new designs, the PC-A20, the PC-A7110 and the PC-A7010. The PC-A7110 and PC-A7010 are very similar by design—the only difference really being the door—which is reserved but stylish at the same time.
PC-A7110 (left and right), PC-A7010 (centre) - click to enlarge
Both feature removable motherboard trays and the quality of finish you’ve come to expect from Lian Li. Again, there’s no detail on exact pricing for either model, but we were told that both should hit roughly the same price point and that they’ll be cheaper than the Armoursuit PC-P80.
The third full tower we saw was the PC-A20, which is an upgrade from the older PC-A10 design and features some improvements. For example, there is now a 120mm fan above the memory slots that’s designed to help improve airflow around the CPU socket. In addition, Lian Li has also added a 140mm fan directly above the PCI-Express slot location – this exhausts hot air from the graphics cards straight out of the chassis.
PC-A20 - click to enlarge
There are of course five more cases that we didn't get to see because they weren't quite ready to be shown to us - Richard did see some prototypes for the new V1010 and V2020 cases, and also the X2000 chassis, at CeBIT this year
. The first two haven't changed much, but the X2000 has been modified slightly to fit longer graphics cards inside. There is also a shorter version of the X2000 planned for release soon too, but details on that chassis were very scarce.
I know some of you have been waiting for the Xbox 360 case ever since we first covered it at the Consumer Electronics Show. The design has undergone some changes since then—Richard saw a significantly modified version at CeBIT, but there are more changes that have been made since then. The good news is that the Xbox 360 case
is very close to being launched – Lian Li is waiting on delivery of just one part and then it'll be ready for shipping to the channel.
We also had time to have a quick look around one of Lian Li’s factory, where it quickly became apparent why it charges a premium for its cases. Everything is manufactured to an incredibly high standard—as I’m sure many of you can attest to if you’ve ever owned a Lian Li chassis—and literally all
waste is recycled – I was told that employees would get fired if they were caught throwing waste material away!
We’ll be covering some of Lian Li’s new cases as and when they are released – for now though, you can discuss the designs we’ve seen in the forums