External Design

At the heart of the X-Navigator's visual design are the interchangeable bezel "masks", which come in 6 different colors: black, silver, blue, green, yellow, and red. Each case comes with a total of 3 different colors, the combinations of which can be found on Aspire's website.




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Click to enlarge.


The top half of the bezel features a door that swings open to the left, and when opened, it reveals the four 5-1/4" drive bays, the two exposed 3-1/2" drive bays as well as the power and reset buttons. The power button is large at about 3/4" while the reset button is extremely small, about 1/4". For large fingers, a toothpick may be required to reset the system.



Click to enlarge.


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.




Click to enlarge.


When the system is powered on, the corners of the front bezel light up with a bright blue color by four blue LEDs behind the semi-clear plastic moldings. They are extremely bright and do seem to get annoying if the case is on a table at eye level. The HDD activity light is at about mid-height towards the right side. When the door is opened, the HDD activity LED is aligned vertically with the power and reset buttons.




Click to enlarge.


Index External Design (cont'd)
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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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