As the trend in computing has taken us to smaller and smaller components, they also require much less space to house said components. Now, while the Prodigy, and Aquila, and other offerings will get the idea across, a lot of users out there are looking for even smaller cases to house their components in. There are two major reasons for this line of case builds.
First, and most importantly, is portability. By this we mean the ability to take a system to a neighbor's house, take it with you on the job if need be, or even to build a gaming system to take to a LAN. The second benefit to this idea is to be able to pack quite a bit of computing power in as little space as really needed, without having to go to a mini-tower or midi-tower design.
Don't get me wrong, things inside of cases like this are quite cramped, and usually the airflow is somewhat limited, mostly due to the amount of stuff crammed into such a small chassis. Wiring, big video cards, and lack of locations for air flow in most designs are what cause people to shy away from these types of cases. The thing is, Cooler Master has been at this SFF chassis game for quite some time now, and even in earlier Elite series cases, we have seen improvements with each design; we hope that that pattern does not stop with the latest of additions to that series.
As we have a look at the Elite 130 SFF chassis from Cooler Master, we will be looking for all of the obvious things like fit, compatibility, features, and the layout, but after seeing what Xigmatek just dropped off, our eyes are wide open. This may be a bit unjust to Cooler Master, but in our minds, a good case design is a good case design whether looked at from ten feet away, or from under a magnifying glass.
In the end, I think you will see that Cooler Master may have another success on their hands with what the Elite 130 has to offer those in search of a small form factor build.