Talk about turned inside out! Antec’s skeleton case looks more like a national monument than a PC case.
Imagine a PC case with no side panels, a domed shape, and multiple levels for the drives and motherboard. As Antec’s website states, "Think Beyond the Box," and that’s just what its Skeleton open-air ATX enclosure does with its revolutionary design. Featuring eight expansion slots, four drive bays and rack-mount quality side rails, this case will not only keep the PC’s innards cool, but impress friends as well.
"The target market is the kind of PC builder who leaves the doors off the side of his case, pops off the front door covering the optical drives, and wouldn’t have it any other way," says ExtremeTech’s Jason Cross in his review. "It’s certainly unique—so much so that it’s hard to pin a "good" or "bad" label on it. Odds are, you’ll see it and either know you have to have it, or wonder why anyone would ever want something like this."
While the Skeleton enclosure is impressive visually, one must question whether it actually protects computer components. Built as a rack instead of a case, sensitive electronics appear to be left out in the open, exposed to static discharge, dirty little fingers or a sleepy kitty looking for a cozy warm spot to nap. There’s also an issue of noise; without side panels, there’s nothing to muffle the humming fans. And what of dust? This case may bring more problems than prevent them.
If anything, Antec’s Skeleton is geared towards the hardcore PC user, those who prefer to exchange out parts on a weekly basis and leave off those pesky ATX case panels. The motherboard sits flat at the bottom, housed inside a high-density ABS frame reinforced with 0.8mm cold rolled steel. Although no power supply comes with the case, a huge 250mm TriCool fan sits perched upon the arching apex, with another 92mm HD cooling fan docked on the front.
"You’d think building a PC into such an open case would be easy, but it actually requires a bit more work than you’d think," Cross said. He also mentions that additional hard drives won’t fit inside the enclosure; they’re mounted on the outside. Standing at 13" high and 15" wide, the case also comes with 2 USB (2.0) ports, 1 FireWire port and 1 eSATA. There’s even enough space to fir multiple 11-inch video cards, including NVIDIA 3-way SLI.
Currently Antec’s Skeleton open-air enclosure retails for approximately $170 to $180 (without power supply).