Now I vividly remember back to the original Colossus and how much I liked that someone was thinking outside of the box for chassis illumination. Of course there are strings of LEDs or SMDs, but the way it has been done then as well as now with the use of a milky white plastic to carry the intensity of a few bulbs into bright strips of various colored accents was something that sold me on the Colossus then, and with the redesign, and wireless design they have implemented this time around, they sold me on it again. On the flip side I was also a big fan of the Prodigy, and while there are some haters, BitFenix showed they again were coming up with ideas that were outside the realm of normality. While this is essentially the same guts as the original prodigy, we took full advantage of what was offered this time rather than air cooling the system, and was pleasantly surprised with the structural integrity of the chassis with more than half of the structural assemblies removed as well as finding everything ready and willing to take on the parts we chose almost randomly off the shelf.
Temperatures for our system of course were great. Considering we went to an AIO in the front with some very powerful fans, as well as having a pair of 120mm fans to exhaust out the back as well as at the top, all the components stayed chilly, well all but one. The card did suffer a bit, but that is because of this specific 2+ slot cooler the HIS offers. With a normal 2 slot cooler, there is near 5mm of room between it and the panel to allow for a steady flow of cool air to most cards.
Its left handed nature is somewhat different than most designs, it stay current in the feature set, and with a whole new, much more aggressive styling, people who thought the Prodigy was too subtle now have an option to fit your wants and desires. I don't think that if they had another two or three tries at this design they could come up with a more cohesive mixing of what we remember from both the Colossus and Prodigy designs.
While pricing may be slightly inflated for early adopters, and you may have to come up with an extra $10 to $20 to do so when the Colossus Mini-ITX hits shelves. Once the field levels out and more e-tailers get stock of this chassis, the $99.99 pricing is well worth the investment in my opinion. Think about it, we took almost everything not riveted down out of the chassis, we took a fat radiator AIO and strapped it in the front with no issues, and we even got a relatively clean build done with the limited options for wire management.
Then once we close things off and power it up, the Colossus Mini-ITX chassis gets even better as you get to customize the very cool lighting scheme offered around three sides of this chassis. I for one am a fan of what BitFenix delivered in the Colossus Mini-ITX chassis and hope that they stick with the logic that you don't have to follow the crowd to make a good chassis, doing things outside of the realm of normality is the real meal ticket in today's market.