iCute 0508ULA-5G1 PC Case.
The days are long gone when a different colour or finish, an extra fan or thumbscrews made a PC case stand out from its peers. In fact, if you have visited any of the computer trade shows like Computex or CES, you will agree with us when we say that with so many manufacturers out there, the computer case market has predominantly become a mish-mash of clones. Finding a case that stands out at a reasonable price has become ever more difficult, unless it has something that makes it, well, different from the rest. With a fan bigger than any fan I have ever seen in a consumer PC case and an almost avionic guise, enter the iCute 0508ULA-5G1.
Once you open the unexciting box you will instantly notice how large the side fan is (25cm to be precise), the blades are clear, allowing any underlying light to gently filter through. There is also a turbine style intake at the front, complete with swish looking chrome. The actual blades of the front turbine are not powered, they rely on the intake from the 120mm Blue LED fan behind it to drive into motion with airflow, but more about this later.
Either side of the shiny iCute badge you will notice the standard array of buttons and LEDs; reset, HDD activity, power LED and power button. They do feel a reasonably solid and the finish is good. It's nice to see a little effort in integrating the switchgear into the design of the case, with the chrome fitting in well with the rest of the trim.
On the front you will find four full size drive bays and two three and a half inch slots, one of which is occupied by a mini audio breakout/USB/Firewire bay. The top two of the five and a half inch slots are designed to remain in place with optical media drives behind them, perfect to conceal any grey or non co-ordinated facias. The eject mechanism should work with most drives, but if there are any other buttons or inputs/outputs on your drive I doubt you will be able to access them without somehow modding the covers or removing them altogether. They are plastic and finished in matte chrome (also available in black), fitting in the black/chrome theme you will have noticed throughout.
Talking of finish, I have not yet pointed out how shiny this case actually is, if you look at the thumbscrew picture you will see exactly what I mean. It is nearly mirror finish, prompting "ooh, shiny" remarks from all those that saw it in the labs. Beautiful to look at, but functional? We will see.