It looks as if Thermaltake has come up another winner, folks. They have taken a case design that is outstanding in it's own right and added some very fine qualities to it to make it even better. The overall looks of the enclosure are sleek and the added grey/silver finish makes it even better. Even if you don't have the desire to paint your faceplates on your optical drives, the door closes to hide the off color.
The addition of the HardCano unit was a huge plus. It has several functions that are a great benefit and having them accessible from the front just makes it a sweeter proposition. There are enough drive bays to satisfy all but the most power hungry in the enthusiast crowd and the cooling is superb.
Thermaltake has also set up their line with a number of options. You can change out the standard fans for the Smart Case Fans that they are making, you can add windows to the side and there are a number of PSU choices as well. Or you can get the base model like this one and add your own special touches. In the end, it is all up to your own personal desires.
On the downside of this enclosure are really only two items of note. Filtration (or lack thereof) and price. The lack of any sort of filtering on the front intake fans was a glaring oversight. In this day of powerful rigs, having some sort of filtration system in place for all intakes is just too important to leave out. It is a simple matter to set up something on your own, but to have it from the factory would have been nice.
Lastly, pricing of the case is not on the cheap side. The Xaser II 6000 model in today's test has a suggested retail price of US$179. This is comparable to a similar Antec case, but the Antec includes a PSU in the mix. The Thermaltake unit does not, but there are options for one if you want. Of course, the Thermaltake enclosure is made of aluminum, has the HardCano unit installed and also has every fan mount filled with a fan. So it is a give and take situation, but the price is not in the budget price range. But as they say, you get what you pay for. Also of note in the pricing scheme is the fact that they only charge you an extra $12 for a window. Try having one professionally cut and fit with plastic for this price.
Bottom line... If you are like me and love the design of the Antec/Chieftec series cases and also want more, then take a good look at the Thermaltake Xaser series. They offer great looks, superb cooling and more options that you can shake a stick at. You certainly won't be disappointed with this one!
HardCano unit standard
Lot of options
Lack of intake filtration
Rating 9/10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award