Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
We had thought it had been some time since we last looked at a SilverStone chassis, and looking further into it, we see it has been over a year since we last saw what it was they had new. At this time, it is a chassis series which we, up to now, have not had our hands-on at least one version of it. As such, this will be our first venture into the Kublai Series of cases from SilverStone. From what we can gather from their site, the Kublai series has offered a mix of cases, all mid-tower or smaller, and none of the current versions, since the original was released in 2007 seem to share aesthetics or interior layouts. With just images and specifications to compare the latest chassis too, we do think the SilverStone may be offering the best Kublai so far.
The Kublai Series is a performance-based chassis design, and while you may seem some similarities and hints of previous iterations, there is one huge change afoot in the chassis we have now. While earlier versions toyed around with the internal layout, and all have plusses and minuses depending on what each user needs, SilverStone addresses noise this time, like in no other Kublai we can see. To do this, SilverStone has incorporated open cell egg crate foam behind four of the panels. So while roomy, with plenty of room for airflow, this sleek and contemporary design will draw no attention to itself due to the hum of fans.
Of course, we do not have any experience with the Kublai Series of cases, but we have much experience with SilverStone and have come to expect a certain level of craftsmanship and features in any case we see from them. We were not let down with the Kublai KL07 Mid-Tower Chassis that we have been sent to deliver an opinion on. What you are about to see is a simple exterior, a feature-rich interior, all wrapped into a silent chassis which sports USB Type-C. For many, this is the perfect case for locations where sound can be overwhelming, as well as for those who don't care for flashy aesthetics and appreciate a chassis which will virtually disappear in the office. If these criteria are high on your list of must-have, then the SilverStone KL07 should be right up your alley.
The Kublai KL07 is also known as the SST-KL07B, and as far as we can tell, black is the only option for color at this time. The vast majority of the chassis is made of steel, which has been painted inside and out. At the same time, certain parts are also made of ABS plastic, which is also black, and are color matched well to the steel. The KL07 offers a power and reset button on the front bezel, but the rest of the I/O panel is contained to the top of the case. There are no optical drive bays in this design. The chassis is 222mm wide; it is 510mm tall, it is 467mm deep, weighs in at 7.7 kilograms, and takes up 52.8 liters of space.
Inside of the chassis, you can fit an ATX, Micro-ATX, and while not shown, you can also use a Mini-ITX motherboard. There are three hidden drive trays for 2.5" drives on the back of the motherboard tray, and there is also a removable HDD cage with three trays, capable of housing wither 3.5" or 2.5" drives. The PSU is mounted on the bottom and hidden under a PSU cover, and we can also see there is a limitation to said PSU of 140mm if the HDD cage is in use. Without it, there is 200mm of room for the PSU and wires. The CPU cooler height is odd, as it states 163 to 172mm of room, and this depends on if you want to smash or remove some of the sound deadening foam inside of the panel to make room for slightly taller CPU cooling options.
As for the cooling options, the Kublai is well appointed. The front of the chassis has room for three 120mm or 140mm fans, and out of the box, this location is filled with a pair of 140mm fans. The rear of the chassis can use either a 120mm or 140mm fan, and this is where the third pre-installed 140mm fan is located. The top of the chassis can also house a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans. When it comes to water cooling options, the front will allow for a 280mm or 360mm radiator as the largest options, and of course, one could use the back of the case for a single 120mm or 140mm radiator. The top is said to support 240mm and 280mm radiators, but this depends on the motherboard chosen as well as the RAM used in the build.
At the point we searched to locate a retail price, we found that the Kublai KL07 is not widely available at this time. We were, however, able to find it on Amazon, but they name the chassis oddly there, so the typical searches came up empty. We located what Amazon calls the "Kublai Series ATX Tower Case with USB 3.0 Type-C and Sound Dampening Foam for Quiet Systems (KL07B)" listed at $95.53 with free shipping to Prime members. At near $100 SilverStone has quite the climb to reach the bar set by many well-equipped mid-tower solutions, yet at the same time, we do feel the SilverStone is up to the task. Stick with us as we carefully look over the Kublai KL07, and see whether SilverStone has what it takes to get that $100 from your account.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX Code Z270 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Team T-Force Night Hawk RGB TF1D48G3000HC16CBK
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: Samsung XP941 256GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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