When I first saw the Lancool II announced and shown at Computex 2019, I was interested as the RGB looked good, and the overall design was robust. However, hearing a price point below $100 had me apprehensive that when it came to market, it would either be more expensive or lose quality somewhere. I am happy to say that not much has changed, and the Lancool II is indeed a beefy case on a budget.
Thermal testing was also a question to me as cheaper cases once again tend to sacrifice something. Being the Lancool II has ARGB, dual side tempered glass, wire management covers, and a multitude of cooling and drive fitment options, I figured performance was where it would take a hit. I am happy to report that the Lancool II performed equivalent if not slightly beating the deltas we have seen from other chassis.
The measured ambient during testing was 24C, with an RH of 46%. The CPU measured in at an average delta over ambient of 40.4C, which is 1.1C cooler than the previous leader, the Vector RS with vertical GPU. The GPU thermals were an average delta of 38.2C, which is only bested by the Corsair 465X and 220T and the Enermax Equilence, both of which had their issues.
Now let's assess what we liked about the Lancool II.
First would be the approach Lina Li took to achieving an excellent performing mid-tower while offering accessory items ala carte. This allows the most popular features to be integrated at a lower cost, and any extras a user may want are user-serviceable, and none of them required any special tools or work to be added. Do keep in mind that if you added every accessory, this case could head toward the $200 range, but for the most part, users would be just fine with what comes out of the box. The ARGB flows nicely and creates a unique look for the Lancool II. The split side with both a swing open door and flip open side plate help break up the styling. Overall the Lancool II is a solid build, and the quality of materials is not anything I could complain about.
Now we get to my gripes, and for an $89.99 case, there is only a small knit to pick. I already mentioned this but I think while it is cheap and easy, I would have liked to have seen the USB C port hole be blocked off internally with a molded plastic that could have an upward block off that smooths out the front panel I/O for users who opt to not upgrade to the Type-C. The issue is that the rubber plug can come out easily and can be lost, this is not ideal as then you have a small elongated oval hole in your I/O. The only other thing I wish Lian Li could do was to include a sight window or mesh so that users could see the lit indicators on the drive trays should users opt for the hot-swap PCB upgrade. The whole idea of equipping the trays with active LED pass through via the plastic parts is wasted by the fact that you would need to keep the flip-down panel open to see the LEDs in action.
At the price point, the Lancool II is a great option, and I think many users will adopt this chassis. Lian Li quality is present, tempered glass all around, and the inclusion of excellent cable management hiding makes this an absolute dream for many builders. Add to this the ARGB, which can be synced to the controller of your choice or motherboard, and you have a robust platform for a beautiful looking and solid rig while not breaking the bank.
Lian Li knocks it out of the park with the Lancool II. Anyone looking for a sub $100 chassis for their next build needs to give it a sharp look.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) Z390 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro RGB (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB CMW32GX4M4C3000C15(buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Platinum 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Last updated: Nov 21, 2019 at 10:57 am CST
The Bottom Line
The Lancool II form Lain Li is a solid starting point for a robust and feature rich build with some great aesthetic to match. Want more? Lian Li probably has an accessory to upgrade it.