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SEED MA-280 Mini-ITX Case - Final Thoughts

An upstart manufacturer makes its debut at TweakTown with the MA-280 m-ITX chassis. Let's see what the MA-280 has to offer nettop users.

| Small Form Factor Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Dec 9, 2009 12:23 am
TweakTown Rating: 80%Manufacturer: SEED

Final Thoughts

 

There are quite a few upsides to this chassis. The MA-280 is sleek, small, and very nice to look at. Their use of space is superb, as I was able to pack quite a bit of equipment inside of it. The cooling while small in its 40mm fan as the only source of flow, I was still able to keep a LGA775 processor at levels I would have expected in a mATX chassis using passive means of cooling. So all that venting must do a good job of allowing enough cool air into the chassis, even with the small nature of the source. Under Intel Atom builds this chassis would handle its duties to protect and cool just fine.

 

The build went smooth, and even with non-English written instructions, I was able to get most of the build to function properly. There are a few points I must address here, though. The front panel, while having an attractive look, feels flimsy during the build and the slightly dysfunctional front door that "stealths" the optical drive just adds to that. Then on top of that, my LED's didn't function properly. I'm not sure if it is a quality control issue, or a need for a deeper look into the manufacturing process, but I feel if I buy a chassis it should fully function out of the box.

 

I have read other reviews of this chassis where similar issues are being addressed with the front panel as I had, so it isn't exactly isolated. Objectively I look at the MA-280, and even with its slight dysfunction, I really love the concept. Efficient uses of both space and power are top of the list, with a really sleek look fighting for either spot. Honestly, even in the condition it's in as I have it now, I would still have it next to my TV in my living room, if I had an Atom setup that is. I can always listen for the whir of the 40mm fan to see if it's functioning. With a price of around $70 USD when it finally gets released in the states, it is a great budget builder's solution to a nettop PC, as well as an attractive one to those who aren't. Let's just hope they get the panel issues solved before they do hit the shelves.

 

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