There’s no shortage of high-end PC cases for those who like to show off their components and building prowess. But Razer’s Tomahawk Elite shouldn't have a problem standing out in a crowded market--especially when its sides are flipped up. The tempered-glass panels of this mid-tower case lift up like the doors of a high-end sports car, with the help of hydraulics.
The top also lifts up a bit to help with ventilation and can be configured to do so automatically when the interior hits a given temperature, like the active ventilation we've seen from some Alienware desktops in the past.
Razer is also focused heavily on clean looks with the Tomahawk Pro, adding a PSU shroud on the bottom and a plate over the backside of the motherboard to hide cables. The backplate also has a window over the CPU area to show off the rear lighting on some motherboards--although if you have a large air cooler with an aftermarket CPU backplate, this feature is basically going to light up an ugly piece of metal or plastic.
Four SSD mounting plates run along the rear front, letting you route the SATA cables nicely down the inside edge of the case. The top edge houses a USB-C port and a pair of USB 3.0 ports, along with audio jacks in front of another tempered-glass panel.
The case looks extremely slick and attractive, especially with the custom cooling hardware (not included) that the company installed at its demo here at CES 2019. But we want to see how the case looks with a full retinue of high-end components installed--all the requisite cables included. Cooling is also a question, given three sides are glass and the front is a solid piece of aluminum. But without seeing the side panels closed, it’s tough to get a sense of how the case will handle intake.
We worry in particular about the fragility of the glass panels, which are attached to the case via hydraulic arms. We also haven’t been able to check out the smoothness of the lifting mechanism, as the panels and arms were fixed in place for this demo. And we wonder how well the case's cable routing scheme will handle a full build with lots of parts.
The Tomahawk Pro is still at the prototype stage, although it does seem fairly far along in the design and machining process. Razer isn't talking about pricing or availability yet, but the company is also working on a non-pro Tomahawk that's a more traditional chassis with a regular tempered-glass side panel and Razer Chroma lighting in the undercarriage.
The company says the non-hydraulic Tomahawk should be available sometime in the first half of 2019. The wait for the Elite model might be longer.
In the meantime, Razer is also expanding its Designed By Razer case partner program as well, to include Lian Li. Razer says a Chroma-equipped version of the Lian Li O11 Dynamic will be available in the first quarter for $169.
Conceptually, it's one of the better designs I've seen, but in practice, it sure seems like it could be tedious to work in.
I just don't understand why so many PC accessories are racing themed when there hasn't been a popular driving game on PC in, well, ever. Plus I think most car guys are spending most of their time and money, you know, working on actual cars.