Sunbeamtech has quite a range of Acrylic PC casings and today with me, is the Acrylic HTPC casing.
I must say that the final product looks way nicer than the pictures seen at the product site and the product box.
Please refer to the official product page for more information such as the specs
I’ll be covering in more detail on how the package is like. Firstly, I’m well impressed that the item was shipped in a box smaller than the usual box that’s used for computer casings.
Upon opening the box, there lay the acrylic pieces one on top of the other, covered in protective padding. As I explore the content further, I was surprised at what came along with the casing – a wealth of screws, fan, grills, and even a screw driver and a pair gloves!
I started by examining the various pieces and studied the assembly guide – I must say that the guide was horrible. Arrghh, the diagrams were not exactly helpful and the text was awkwardly paragraphed. Piecing LEGO is a much easier task.
After spending around 10 minutes referring to the guide and the components and trying to figure out which panel was it referring to in Step #1 – I decided to just refer to the product box itself and made life easier.
I tried assembling it without using a screw driver but it came to a point where I found that it’s slow, it’s hurting and it’s not going to securely fasten the panels. 🙂 So yeah, you need a screw-driver. Oh, and you need a scissor or a blade too – they didn’t provide that but you’ll still be needing it as some components such as the cables and fan grills bound with a plastic strap.
I lost track of time but It took me around an hour or so to complete the entire thing, spending quite the bulk of my time referring to the guide, looking for the screws and piecing it together. At one point of the assembly, I had to undo what I did based on the guide, simply because the guide printed something wrongly! So I ended up with the fans being on the wrong side of the front panel.
Another problem was that the panels weren’t labelled as stated in the guide, so it’s up to the us users to identify each and every of those transparent pieces.
The panels were nicely cut and everything fit well. The end product was beautiful when lighted up. If you look at the picture above (yes, the one where it’s glowing) – it was taken with 2 additional blue-LED components, they were the Colorful 9800GTX+ and Gigabyte ODIN GT 550w power supply.
The drawback of this casing is that it’s held in place by single screws at most point, you’ll feel that the casing starts to “morph” a bit if you attempt to move it around. The “morphing” is more apparent when you have other heavy stuff in place, like the power supply for example.
Another drawback to this casing is that the hard disk bays are pretty much inaccessible on either side once it’s in place. So to add on or remove a harddisk or some components, you’ll just have to remove parts of the acrylic mounts.
While I assembled the casing to it’s entirety, the installation of a PCI-E graphic card also mean that I had to remove one part of the unit, which was the fan-holding panel that’s mounted on the casing’s top cover. Confused? Ok I’ll make it simple, full-height PCI-E card meant 1 of the parts had to be removed.
Despite being called a HTPC casing, it’s actually pretty big and roomy. Size-wise it’s pretty much that of a tower-casing. I believe it’s called HTPC because it’s a desktop casing, meaning it goes horizontal instead of being vertical ala tower casing. I certainly wouldn’t use it for HT purpose, it’s just too bright! 🙂
Overall I love the casing very much. It’s really beautiful when it’s lit and the silent fans were well placed to not just light up the casing but cool the harddisk drives and by the look of it, airflow isn’t a problem.
* I wonder if Sunbeamtech would like to use the pictures I took for the official product page and product boxes. 😀 *