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Moneual 972: Appearance, Fit And Finish, And User Experience

HTPC Cases With LCD Screens: Bringing Bling
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Appearance, Fit, and Finish

The Moneual 972 definitely has the look of a high-quality home theater component. Aesthetics are clean and attractive on our brushed metal test unit, and for those buyers who have the other color of home theater components, there is a black version as well.

All of the case buttons have a satisfying "click" to them that instills confidence about their longevity. The cover of the case is aluminum and is thick enough to be rigid but light enough to be pleasant to work with. Sliding it into place is effortless and speaks to how well-built the 972 really is.

The case also features flush-mounted nuts, instead of simply tapped holes with which to attach mounting hardware, and is thus much nicer to work with.The flush-mounted nuts also add to the case's rigidity.


User Experience

The Moneual 972's installation is not tool-fee, but it is not exceptionally difficult, either. The extra space compared to its competitors was greatly appreciated and the installation experience felt closer to that of a spacious tower than a cramped HTPC case.

The external optical drive installation is unique, as Moneual chose to include a metal cover for the drive door instead of a full drive bay cover. This metal-door cover is attached by adhesive tape. While the adhesive tape does the job, it makes things complicated for a future swap. While Moneual’s method looks attractive, for practical reasons we much prefer the SilverStone and Thermaltake method of completely covering the drive bay with a soft-touch opening door integrated into the case itself.

Other than this one critique, installation was fine. We did have a slight concern afterward when we tried to fit the 972 into a home-entertainment system enclosure, as it stuck out a bit more than we liked. While the 972’s depth is a blessing during the setup, it can be a problem if your space is limited.

However, these are merely points to consider before you make your purchasing decision. Overall, we were impressed at the high level of build quality Moneual offers for the relatively low price, and  we really did appreciate the case's attributes during the setup.

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