Aspire X-Cruiser

First up is a relatively mid-range priced semi-gaming themed case from Aspire. While a lot of Aspire's cases are almost too gaudy for us to consider in an article like this, the front door of the X-Cruiser is a little cleaner looking.


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Especially in the black color that we received, the glossy plastic and metal really stand out against the chrome-colored plastic on the door - something that will either make or break this system for the majority of people looking at cases in this price range. By examining the front to start, we'll begin to get an idea what this chassis has to offer.


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The front is dominated by the three included analog meters, which (from top to bottom) are sound, temperature, and fan speed gauges. The entire front is a left side-hinged plastic door that conceals the four 5¼" and two 3½" drive bays, as well as the intake for the optional front-mounted dual 80mm fans.


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The front port cluster is located on the right side towards the bottom, and not only sports the usual dual USB, Firewire, and audio jacks, but also has a volume control for both the headphone jack, and a fan controller for one case fan. A small magnet holds the door shut, and underneath that is the chrome plastic power and reset buttons along with the power and HDD activity LEDs.


Click to enlarge.

Turning the case and looking at the left side, we see the prominent rounded window with a blue fan shroud covered by a filter and logo-stamped metal. No fan actually comes mounted here, but the dual exhaust fans will pull air in through this shroud to help cool the CPU. There are also extra cooling vents in the plastic right above the expansion cards.


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Before we take a look inside the X-Cruiser, a quick glance at the back shows us that at least the case offers space and mounts for a 120mm in the rear, even though only an 80mm fan is included.


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Index Aspire X-Cruiser (cont’d)
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  • Abecedaria - Sunday, September 11, 2005 - link

    What was the criteria for choosing these cases? Most of them look nasty-plasticy and even the Antec P-180, although it looks good, has a veery plasticy feel.

    Where was Silverstone in your review? They have some of the best cases available:
    http://www.silverstonetek.com/product-case.htm">http://www.silverstonetek.com/product-case.htm
    and from their new subsidiary:
    http://www.tuniq.com.tw/Chassis/chassis.htm">http://www.tuniq.com.tw/Chassis/chassis.htm

    These things rock.

    abc
    Reply
  • unclebud - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    please consider reviewing the performance 640 next time?
    it currently includes a smartpower v2 400w, for $129
    thanks in advance
    Reply
  • Rudee - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    There is an error in the article. The Sonata II does indeed have a removable air filter in the front of the case, thus should not be given a score of "0" for this catagory. Reply
  • Tamale - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    The filter is removable from the bottom of the case only.. while this certainly is 'removable', it is nowhere near as accessible as the other cases which I gave this point to. I struggled with the idea of giving the case .5 for this category, but it wouldn't have made a difference in the end, and I really don't feel that most users would go through the trouble of tipping the case over just to clean the filter, so no points were awarded.

    Thanks for pointing out the detail though.
    Reply
  • Rudee - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    The Sonata II case is great. I was able to overclock a AMD 64 3700 to 2700mhz using the stock AMD heatsink and fan with one Panaflo 92mm fan in the duct over the CPU. Temps are great and I ended up returning my Zalman 7700 as I didn't need it. Reply
  • dgkulzer - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    After 1 month of use I am very happy with my P180. Assembly does take a bit longer than a standard case if you are trying to hide your cables but that isnt much of an issue to me. I put a Phantom 500 PSU in it and because its longer than most other PSU's I had to replace the lower fan with a thinner model (Nexus 120). I have 4 hard drives in the lower chamber and the Nexus at 5 volts keeps them very cool - I havent had the Phantom fan kick on yet either.

    This is one case that looks better in person than it does in pictures, the pictures make it look like a little fridge or something but it looks pretty sweet on your desk :)
    Reply
  • mschira - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    I guess the two compartment design is great for watercooling. You could put the pump reservoir etc in the lower compartment. If something leaks, the electronic is save.
    I think that's great thing...
    M.
    P.S. onla trouble is where to put the power suply...
    Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    Kids, having a flashy computer under your desk doesnt make the chicks like you more. Say no to stupid side windows! Reply
  • Tamale - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    you seem to forget that most kids who think it would look cool to have the window in the first place probably don't care about girls anyway ;)

    p.s. - most people (girls included) seem to think my all-acrylic case is pretty cool
    Reply
  • Griswold - Sunday, September 11, 2005 - link

    quote:

    p.s. - most people (girls included) seem to think my all-acrylic case is pretty cool


    Besides the total lack of EM shielding (which is enough reason to not do what you did, not only because it's not allowed in many countries (I know, I know, US is different, there, the cops wont stop you if your car has only 3 wheels..)), a full acrylic case is a nice show thingie. I just find side windows embarrassing, especially when the rest of the case looks like Optimus Prime's chest armor.
    Reply

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