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Our second Editors' Choice award goes to Kingwin for the new KT-424 series. We were really blown away by the quality and value that Kingwin has delivered with the KT-424. Obviously, Kingwin has been doing its homework while trying to perfect and deliver an aluminum case solution to the masses. The KT-424 isn't perfect, but its striking black finish, well designed layout, and, best of all, its price (less than most other higher-end aluminum cases). The price of the KT-424 is key here, as many similar cases are priced in the $200 US price range while the KT-424 slides in at just a little over $100 US with some shopping around. As with the Chenbro Xpider, Kingwin almost has it exactly right with the KT-424, with its downfall being the flimsy door covering the USB and 1394 ports on the front of the case. When removed, this door isn't really missed from a visual or functional standpoint, so we didn't regard the door to be a significant flaw. A more important feature that Kingwin needs to remedy immediately is to place some type of protective covering over the window surfaces to prevent marring while in transit and prior to installation. Those things noted, the KT-424 is a solid aluminum case that offers an attractive price and feature set.
In addition to the two Editors Choices' above, there are three other cases in this review that deserve "honorable mentions."
For what is hands-down the most innovative design development in our review, the Yeong Yang YY-5601 features a louvered ventilation system that is installed into the front bezel. We don't know the general availability of this case (we had trouble finding it available for purchase ourselves), but it is certain that Yeong Yang has some sharp people on its design team coming up with great new concepts. Keep an eye out for future cases from Yeong Yang.
The TT-301 from TTGI/ Superflower is another case that deserves recognition. While the internal design of this case isn't as fresh as some other newer models, the affordable price makes it an excellent choice. We were impressed with the internal construction of the case and the quality that went into it. TTGI/ Superflower tells us that the TT-301 with a windowed side panel will be available for a ballpark estimate of $10-$20 US more than the non-windowed version of the case. The price of this case is impressive, particularly when you consider that the previous version of this case was priced much higher and didn't offer the updates and features that are now available in the TT-301.
Last, but certainly not least; our third honorable mention is the Chieftec BX-01B-SL-B, part of Chieftec's new Extreme Series. While the BX-01B-SL-B will not set the world on fire due to the fact that, internally, it is basically just an update to previously released Chieftec models, the amount of innovation that has gone into Chieftec's Extreme Series case technology is impressive.
This brings us to the end of our summer case review. With Computex on the horizon, there will certainly be additional innovative cases introduced there. We are looking forward to seeing these new cases and to telling you about them in our upcoming fall case review. With new case models certain to be released by the manufacturers, great deals can be found on some of the older models. A quick look on the Internet reveals that there are plenty of bargains and that now is a great time to consider an upgrade to a new case. With all of the features and attractive pricing offered, there is a case available to fit nearly every need and budget.