Introduction

Quick Look
Aspire X-Navigator The Good
+ Front panel USB/FireWire
+ Four 5-1/4" drive bays
+ Nine removable 3-1/2" drive bays (2 exposed)
+ Included 500W aluminum power supply
+ Five LED case fans
The Bad
- No front panel Audio
- Loud fans
- Bright LED lights

Aspire International is a company whose goal is to satisfy its customers by taking their feedback and turning it into a successful product, which will be taken in by more and more computer users. On their website, Aspire declares that they release their new and innovative products on a quarterly basis to keep up with the changing industry.

Since 1999, Aspire has been committed to providing quality products to customers ranging from peripherals such as mice, keyboards, and audio equipment, to our beloved cases, which hold our expensive, high end components. Over the years, cases have changed to adapt to the wants and needs of users. We recall case designs from 10+ years ago where the main material used was steel. Thinly cut with no attention to sharp edges, we lived with these heavy, badly designed chassis for years. The introduction of aluminum to the PC case industry changed our expectations for what a chassis should be, how it should function, and what features it should have.

Today, we received a chance to look at one of the most innovative designs in the case industry. Made of all aluminum with room for expandability and much more, the X-Navigator from Aspire raised our standards in PC cases. We have performed our usual thermal and sound benchmarks against the X-Navigator as well as taken a look at its most significant features. Read on to see what makes this case such a great product.

More information is available on the X-Navigator at Aspire's website.

External Design
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  • IcculusBone - Saturday, October 30, 2004 - link

    Been reading this site for ages but not big on posting. Wanted to add my input here though since I recently had some experience with this case.

    My roommate wanted this case for his first custom computer (that I built of course). He got the steel version, without the faceplates and powered by a 450w PSU instead of the upgraded 500w clear one. Also, the fans are a bit different in that the 120mm is on the rear and the window has an 80mm set for intake instead of exhaust. Aside from those points the case is the same as its big brother but can be had for a mere $92 on Newegg.

    I have to say, I agree with a lot of what you all have been saying about the "bling" factor, but I was still left with a better impression from the case than I expected. It is under his desk (but still very visible) and from down there you can't hear it at all - even with the fans cranked up. Adding an 80mm in the second drive bay was a good idea as he has 5 drives in the case.

    I think this is a really good match for budding enthusiasts because it can be found for fairly cheap on the net, has a decent PSU for a beginner and has lots of the cool things fledgling geeks look for - a full sized window, lots of LED love and tons of room for expansion. One thing though, I need to install a switch for those 4 lights on the front. They are BRIGHT.

    - b0n3
    Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    What some case manufacturers really need to do is include a switch to shut off all the extra lighting. It can't be that difficult, and while it might be cool at times to have all the case lights, I would much rather have them off 99% of the time. You could turn them on at a LAN party or to woo a girl (*cough*), but otherwise leave them off.

    Seems like they should have included some lower RPM fans instead of going for outright cooling, though, and I'm not at all convinced about having the side panel as an exhaust fan. Put intake on the front and the side and exhaust on the rear and top. Fresh, *cool* air blowing directly at the CPU (instead of in opposition to the CPU fan) would make more sense, wouldn't it?
    Reply
  • AnnoyedGrunt - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    You guys mentioned in the review that the case has a fan controller, but did you use it at all? Perhpas plugging the 120mm fan into the controller would have reduced the noise quite a bit.

    In any event, this case looks pretty short on features compared to many other cases (except for the temp display and maybe the fan controller), and seems to try and get by on looks (which is always tough since looks are very subjective).

    Also, you guys didn't mention how the firewire and USB connect to the Mobo. Pass thru, or header?

    While the review is OK, I think you need to make a more detailed review with less "filler" (the transitional sentences that are somewhat explanatory, but don't really explain anything useful, like "Today we have a chance to look @ one of the most innovative designs in the case industry. Made of all aluminum with room for expandability and much more....."

    But really, this case brings nothing new to the case industry, except the interchangeable colow swatches which really don't add much to the value anyway.

    Also, on "The Bad" you don't mentione anything about the lack of removable Mobo tray or lack of tooless features, which you mention on many other case reviews.

    Overall you guys have the potential to do some great reviews, but I'd like to see a more standard review template and more consistency in the summary.

    With that said, thanks and keep the reviews coming.

    -D'oh!
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    Looks like a nice case :)

    Biggest thing I would like to see in new cases is support for water (liquid) cooling. I know this is more problematic than adding fans since mainboard and cpu choices make a difference, as well as other choices; but that option is so much more effective and quieter than air cooling!

    Aluminum - I don't care about aluminum, I don't need to save a couple of lb. Quality of function is the importance.

    I don't care about buying a 'modded-style' case; defeats the purpose! But it wouldn't stop me from buying a case cause its got some blue lights or whatever, either.

    I am NOT interested in buying a power supply from a case manufacturer! Especially now, when so many power supplies are coming out with innovations as well as higher power capabilities :)
    Reply
  • quanta - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    #1, you can get a version of X-Navigator without PS from Xoxide.com for $100.

    Not a bad design by itself, but the overall design quality drops comared to X-Superalien, which has tray and extra channel for fans. Too bad neither case has fan filters.

    I would buy this case if it were introduced a few months ago, but for around 100 dollars, you can get Thermaltake Xaser V WinGo or Damier. But I would wait for MGE XG Quantum, a clone for Casetek CK-1020-2, which features a 7-channel fan controller.
    Reply
  • ciwell - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    Once again people can not get it through their heads that looks are subjective and depend upon the user/purchaser. While one person may think it looks "fugly," another might think it is "stylish." Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    #14's right! This is a Dragon case with a different front. The front door lock, power and reset buttons, side panel latch, fan mounts, and drive bays are *identical* to the Dragon tower I bought 2 years ago. Purav, you should at least recognize that all of these cases are the same, and not treat the features like they're something new (e.g., "The door itself has a key lock, which seems like an excellent feature. When we took a look at the locking mechanism on the backside, though, we noticed it was made of plastic, which could easily be broken with some force. Using metal would have definitely improved this design." This very same lock has been on countless previous cases! We've all seen it before! Is AT's case reviewer the only one who hasn't?). Better yet, buy yourself a Dragon, and then you'll know what to look for and be able to recognize "This is a Dragon with an ugly front panel and an extra fan in the top." That would make these reviews a lot easier for you. Reply
  • CitizenKain - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    Wow, another Antex SX1000 series case, but now with added ugly! Reply
  • Tarumam - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    Goodness! Yet another arse-ugly-blinking-lookin´ case. Taste has left the building. Well at least is silent. No? Well, one could use its blue leds to... Oh, well why bother? It is a bad, ugly, noisy, bulky case. Reply
  • EddNog - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    HOW many more Chieftech Dragons with a different front bezel are we going to see, huh?!@# Reply

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