Enlight Extreme Gamers PC Case. Will the gamer in you need it?
As you may have noticed, it is suddenly trendy to be a gamer. PC hardware manufacturers around the world are clamouring to gain street cred by being associated with the gaming community. Whether having 'Fatal1ty' on the box
makes a product 'cool' is up for debate, but Marketing Departments worldwide are sure hoping that it does.
For years the connection between gamers and high-end hardware was underexploited, although we at bit-tech
have always agreed that if you want to see the hottest hardware around, pushed to its limits, you wouldn't be far wrong looking around an i-series LAN party
. So it's with the new attitude in mind that products are being released aimed squarely at the extreme gamer, a relatively small portion of the market, but one with bottomless resources, or so it would seem.
Enlight has jumped onboard the gamer bandwagon with the latest product to make its way into our labs, the Enlight Extreme Gamers PC Case
. It talks the talk, the name creates images of fragging your way to glory, taking on the greatest, standing on stage next to a couple of sexy, scantily clad booth babes collecting a big cardboard cheque from a bigwig from a gaming company or hardware manufacturer. Does it live up to its name? Will fatal1ty shiver in his shoes when he sees you set it up at CPL? We can't answer the second question, but we will try our best to answer the first, so without any further delay, let's get our hands on it.
PC cases that are plastic coated steel are very much an acquired taste, some of you will have seen our look at the Alienware gaming system we reviewed, and if you recall it had an absolute dream-worthy spec, with all the best components, rock solid stability and benchmarks to drool over. All this was encapsulated in a plastic coated case, but what was inside was what mattered, so any reservations would have been simply brushed away.
Would you go out and consciously purchase a plastic coated case? It can be easily damaged, is susceptible to fading, can be tarnished easily by cleaning products so it's a pretty brave move by Enlight to face the gaming market, who are likely to move their kit around often, with this. The Extreme Gamers PC Case is available in three metallic finishes; silver/black, blue/black and the red/black one we are looking at.
The case is fitted with a lockable door, using some ingenious clips to allow for easy reversal. As you can see in the close-up photograph of the clips, the paint finish is not as good as it could be - some red overspray marring the black plastic finish, and as paint usually bonds at molecular level with plastic I doubt you will be able to remove it without damaging the surface. The lockable door might be useful if you are at a LAN party or you want to lock away the front from curious family members, and once locked all controls, buttons, ports are safely covered up.
The blanking plate you can see underneath the smile shaped HDD access light is made for an LCD/fan controller that you can purchase from Enlight as an accessory. We couldn't find any price details or specifications on it so we can't comment on value or features.
On some occasions it might be useful to have access to some of the features without opening the front door, so Enlight has added a flap that can be removed to reveal the accessory set. As you can see there is an USB Card Reader, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, audio breakout ports, power switch and LEDs.
Oddly, as you can see from the previous photos, the reset switch is behind the door. If you look closely you can see that the LED on the right hand side is further in - it wasn't fixed properly and the slightest pressure was enough to depress it like a button. After much flustering I was unable to push it back from behind as access to the rear of it is somewhat limited.
The second thing of note is that the paintwork finish, once again, is sub-standard. The metallic finish is very visible on the left and the red colour is also messy on the right. The flap is held on by two tiny plastic tabs and a little flat plastic "tongue" that slide into the door casing, there is no way these would resist repeated fitting and removal.
While we tested the case we removed the flap and one of the side tabs snapped off - we were not heavy handed and it took minimal pressure for it to break. Disappointing, really, as it proves what we mentioned about plastic not being the ideal outer shell for a PC case.
Time to look inside...