The first question that comes to my mind is; is it worth the $30 over the original? I really have to say it is! If the Blackhawk has already caught your eye, and you wanted to take it a step further, the Blackhawk Color offers character and flash that the original was missing. A black paint job inside and out just makes the case so much more aesthetically appealing. The redesign of the front is a huge plus in my eyes. I thought the original system was functional, but for a guy with fat fingers like me, getting the fans and covers off wasn't so easy. With a swing out door for access, and screws holding everything in place, there really isn't much to dislike. I still haven't even touched on the new fan choice and reason it is the Color. These new 256 color, synchronized fans are really cool to watch, and do offer a good amount of air flow.
One thing I did notice and I think it needs mentioning. The front logo and HDD activity light, as well as the rear trio of LEDs were dysfunctional on my sample. I looked to be sure I had all the wire connected, and I did. I did not, however, go as far as to start dismantling the top to see if the wires had simply been tucked away on accident or for any cause to the issue internally. I'm not saying that every sample on shelves is going to have this issue, and my original Blackhawk worked flawlessly. I have never had to deal with XClio for an RMA, but in my dealings with them they have always been helpful and courteous, I can only assume, had I gotten this for myself, retail, that their RMA and support teams would be the same.
With my doting on the likes, and the short bit on the dysfunctional lights, I still feel that this is the case that should have arrived the first time. To me it is truly amazing what a coat of paint, and some ingenious fans with awesome lighting can offer a chassis. I liked the original of the Blackhawk, but I am completely sold that the Blackhawk Color is the one to choose. The window, paint, lighting, and increase ease of access makes the Blackhawk Color almost a steal at Newegg for $149.99. I know there is shipping involved, and I know the original is cheaper, but for those with little time, but want options like fan controllers, lighting, good air flow, plus all the new aesthetics and trick already in the package, this is definitely a case to take a closer look at next time you are browsing cases to buy.
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