Of course I have been aware of the fact that Zalman made more than just coolers, even though that is what seems to drive most of their business. There have been a few cases I have seen in news blasts and for sale when shopping prices for other cases, but up until now, Zalman hadn't sent me any.
This year at CES I had a meeting with Zalman, and of course we discussed the large group of new CPU coolers that are in the works, there was also a section with quite a few new cases that Zalman is to offer at various points this year. I also saw the chassis we are going to be looking at today, and at that time I believe I was told this case was planned to retail in the $100 to $150 price point.
Making a bold leap into today's chassis market, specifically in the $100 to $150 range, is almost suicide with what is currently offered. As I look over at Newegg, cases like the Define R4, the Storm Scout 2, the C70, the 500R, the 550D and the TJ04 to name most of the top offerings in this segment. With the bar set so high by these cases in design, aesthetics, feature sets, most of these cases are at or near the price point of this new case, and are the direct competition as I see it. This is why I say it's almost suicide to enter this segment, but Zalman feels they have a strong enough design and final product to deserve you money over the other somewhat aging designs.
Since I have yet to actually hold a Zalman chassis in my hands, I have no real expectations. I was able to look at this chassis at CES, but it was more in passing as I tried to absorb all the information on this chassis as well as around six others, all in the short amount of time we had set aside to discuss things. That in mind, I don't have anything that sticks out from CES about the mid-tower chassis we are looking at today, the MS800. So with no shadows or silver linings over their heads, let's dive into the new MS800 and see just where it falls in the already flooded market of mid-tower chassis offerings.