FT03: Will upward facing work in a smaller design?
Going for a taller rather than longer design actually means the FT03 fits on a desk better since it won't protrude much further from a monitor with a fat stand. This is a huge advantage, because the clean lines, unique shape and aluminium make it definitely something we'd definitely want to look at.
Everything is accessible from the top
Inside, again things get a bit limited as it requires a slimline, slot loading optical drive, so that factors into a build cost as well. SilverStone explained that its focus is squarely on aesthetics for the FT03: so much so that it'll also be removing the eject button in favour of using the in-OS 'right click to eject' "Mac" method of getting your disc out. SilverStone already sells a range of SOD01/02 slimline slot-loading optical drives (in some regions) to fill the need.
Inside, there's space for four cooling fans - three of which are pre-fitted and two sit at a 45 degree angle. All of them are removable, and we're told the awesome Air Penetrator
fans are not required because of its small size, so they've been left out to reduce cost. Air is all drawn from the base and up out of the top, so it'll be interesting to see how well this really works in a smaller environment as we already know it's a good design for SilverStones second-generation rotated design cases such as the FT02 and RV02.
The ejectable hard drive slot and milling quality of the side panels
In total there's currently space for three hard drives, plus an SSD. We're not yet sure of the PSU length limitations in the base, although given the hardware combinations allowed by the use of a micro-ATX board, excessive wattage is unnecessary, so longer PSUs shouldn't be needed.
The FT03 has the potential to be a great alternative to an ATX case, but at $149 US it will be well out of the budget market. Given the time and testing investment SilverSone has already put into it, plus the cost of milling four aluminium sides, we can appreciate why it costs that much, but we're not sure if potential customers will recognise that.