Each country has its own idea of what constitutes good design. Sometimes it’s a regional thing. For most of Europe, less is more. A fact proven by the way the Audi line up continues to do so well – even the understated R8 is even a firm favourite with American lovers of the Iron Man series. No surprise then that Fractal has done so well with a ‘simple, clean look that looks/feels like brushed aluminium with noise dampening built in’. Check Thermaltake’s latest offering.
When Thermaltake launched the Level 10, we all thought a new dawn of PC design was upon us – that the Far East manufacturers had cast off the shackles of low-cost plastic in favour of something more substantial.
The recent dual Xeon Apple Mac addition to the KitGuru Labs drew looks of awe and intakes of breath in equal measure – so cool and sophisticated was the design.
But, largely, issues of styling, noise suppression and ease of build are too often ignored by mainstream chassis designers.
Enter Thermaltake’s affordable Urban S41.
This case managed to step an ‘engineering sample only’ toe into the world at CES, but is now ready for launch.
The exterior uses a special ‘texture skin over plastic to make it seem like brushed aluminium for a fraction of the cost’, which makes it look more expensive than it is.
Internal layout is relatively clean and, alongside decent airflow (pre-installed 2x120mm and 1x200mm fans with dust protection), it also offers built in noise suppression foam etc to help ensure your build is seen but not heard.
At the top, on the front, you have a pair of regular USB 2 ports and a pair of USB 3.
Cable management is included and the unit has a hinged side panel with a window so you can admire your handiwork after the build process is over.
Last key feature, which can be very useful on a new build, is the integrated HDD caddy on the top. If you’ve just moved from an old machine, it’s nice to be able to plug your old hard drive in and have access to your data for a while – then you can wipe the old drive later and use it as a back up. Nice.
KitGuru says: The tool-free design which will (with a little HDD bay sacrifice) take up to a 43.5cm graphics card seems neat enough, so real success in the market will come down to the price point Thermaltake manages to hit. We’ll keep you posted on price and availability.
Comments below, in the KitGuru forums or join us on Facebook.