Introduction

Aspire seems to be a company that does not mind marching to the beat of a different drummer. We have seen more boldly themed cases from Aspire than just about any other case manufacturer out there. This is not a bad thing at all though, as many, such as the X-Navigator we reviewed last year, actually represent a very good performance per dollar niche especially for the gamers out there.

Continuing in their tradition, Aspire has recently come up with a Micro-ATX form factor case dubbed the X-QPack, and let us be the first to tell you, this is by no means a case that only gamers should get interested in.

A quick search through your favorite engines on the web for "micro atx cases" will most likely yield droves of squatty-looking mid-towers with no real features separating them from their slightly-bigger mid-tower brothers. One has to wonder what the point is of getting a case that does not allow the use of larger motherboards if it really doesn't have much to offer over the nicer (not to mention only marginally bigger) mid-tower cases.

Well the X-QPack definitely aims to change all that. After a couple days of working with the unit, here is a brief summary of how we feel about the new chassis:

Aspire X-QPack

Included Features

- Excellent layout (good expansion)
- Removable motherboard tray
- LCD temperature monitor
- 420 watt power supply
- Good cooling design

Possible Improvement

- Rounded edges - Tool-Less Features (minor)


Much to gamers' delight everywhere the case comes in red, yellow, green, blue, and silver, and the model we received for review was of the blue variety.

More information on the X-QPack on Aspire's website.

External Design
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  • stromgald - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    The dimensions of the included PSU are unique, but there does seem to be some space between the PSU and the installed DVD burner. The height and widths are the same as a standard ATX according to the article so the screw holes are probably in the same place, but the depth may be a problem. I think that's what #11 was asking, and I'm wondering the same thing. I've been looking to build a new mATX computer, and have been looking at the Aspire and its OEM version, the Chenming 118 (has a 300W PSU and is less flashy) for awhile. Great review, the article and the nice pictures will help alot if I use this case for my next build. Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    It's also a shame it doesn't have independent cover parts, which makes me think of those old minitowers where takes of the cover was almost a disaster. Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    > We should note how if our motherboard had supported external USB and Firewire connections, some of that cable clutter would be greatly reduced.

    What exactly are external USB and Firewire connections?
    Reply
  • Spacecomber - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    From the Aspire website:

    Power Supply ATX 420W power supply
    -High-gloss mirror finish
    -1*80mm built-in UV blue LED fan
    -Wire management:all wires are sleeved
    -Size:116 x 149 x 87 mm

    Power Supply Spec.
    +3.3V +5V +12V -12V -5V +5VSB
    20A 25A 20A 0.8A 0.3A 2.0A
    (They don't list the 3.3v+5v combined power rating. Just that the maximum is 420w.)

    Power Supply Connectors
    1 x 20pin Main Power
    1 x 12V (P4)
    4 x Peripheral
    1 x Floppy
    1 x SATA

    Those dimensions seem a bit unique; it certainly isn't a standard full-size power supply.

    Space
    Reply
  • Cygni - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    I agree, the PSU is the question. At $90 WITH a 420wt PSU, it sounds like a really really good deal.. but i get the feeling its not exactly a true 420.

    BTW, i noticed the HD thing too. In one view we clearly see the PATA cables, and from the other side, i see orange SATA cables running up, haha. :D
    Reply
  • RaNDoMMAI - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    Can you put a normal PSU in? Reply
  • Spacecomber - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    I like this review, but I have to agree with #9 -- we need more information on the power supply. How does it stack up against good quality power supplies in terms of amps per rail? Are there two 12v rails? Does it come with a 24 pin main power connector and with the new square 4 pin video card connectors? Is it of standard dimensions? What options would there be for changing it out, if you feel this one is not adequate?

    Basically, I hate to pay the extra cost of getting a power supply and a case when it turns out that the power supply is a low quality generic model which I'll have to replace.

    Space
    Reply
  • JustAnAverageGuy - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    What were the amps (5V, 12V, etc) on the 420W power supply?

    One oddity.

    In all of the pictures it shows a Western Digital hard drive. It states you used a Seagate on page 8 though.
    Reply
  • DarkKnight - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    great review, case looks awesome. I wish this case had come out before I bought my aria :(. Had to mod the hell of out it to get acceptable temps. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    Pannenkoek: Look in the comments section of the Sun article.

    Kristopher
    Reply

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