LilliComputers - Crystal Clear AC-2004, Continued
The construction of the AC-2004 is good. The case is molded and the sides are attached. We noticed some uneven edges at the seams where the sides meet. This is not that big of a deal and you most likely wouldn't notice it at a distance, but if you run your finger over the seam, you will notice it. The side panel is attached with two screws at the top, which have to be removed each time you need access to the inside of the case. While this is logical for this type of case design, if you are in and out of the case a lot, it can present somewhat of a hassle.
Because there is no metal inside the case, sleeves are used to allow the mounting of some devices in the case. Ample screws, sleeves, and stand offs are provided to make this process as painless as possible; however, the case lacks a really good manual to assist with the installation. This threw us for a loop, as it took us a few minutes to discover how everything inside the case should be installed.
A close-up look at the front-mounted ports of the AC-2004.
The airflow through the case was good and was provided by three clear fans, which were included. One fan is located in the front, another is in the back, and one is on the side panel of the case. This setup is fine, but with no front fan filter, you are going to collect a lot of dust and dirt inside the case - which is going to be very easily seen due to the fact that the case is clear.
This brings us to the question of durability. While we had the case, we experimented with it to get a feel for what potential problems might arise. The real world answer is that the case is durable, but able to be scratched. Scratches are going to be visible to the eye, and, depending on how deep they are, may become unsightly over time. Of course, this is no different from any other case, but at least with a metal case, scratches can be touched up and made less visible.
Another potential issue is the cabling of the case. With the case being totally clear, you are going to want to make sure that your cabling is attractive. Case modders might have fun with the see-through concept of this case, but it will present some challenges. Still, it will undoubtedly inspire some new ideas for the case modding crowd.
We liked the concept of the AC-2004. However, it will most likely be best for trade show, demo, and in-store display uses, rather than as a daily case. If you don't move the case around much and you are longing to see what is inside your computer, the AC-2004 provides an interesting solution. We thought that the overall quality of the case could use a little improvement, but that it is still a worthy effort. The biggest issue that you might have with this case is its steep price tag: almost $200 US. If you have an application where you would like to have a see-though case, the AC-2004 will fit the bill, but it does come at a price.