2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Athenatech: 400 Series, Continued

The door on the side-mounted port design just doesn't work. It is far too flimsy and will most likely get broken very quickly after purchase. Most buyers will just remove it.

The only special feature included with the 400 Series beyond the addition of the included side panel air guide is the side-mounted USB MIC and headphone ports. There was a knock-out for the 1394/Firewire port included, but Athenatech did not include cabling for this port. More troubling was the removal of the thin, flimsy plastic piece that covers the side-mounted ports. Upon tugging slightly on the plastic door to expose the ports, the port door detached and went flying across the room. It would appear that this cover should not be used to open and close the door, but is instead a filler to cover the ports, should you opt not to install/use them.

We have certainly seen cases that are worse than the 400 Series from Athenatech, but it is difficult to compare these lower cost models versus the higher- end offerings seen elsewhere in this review. It is certain that there is a market space that wants only a place to house their computer with as much style and as for as cheaply as possible. While the 400 Series can get the job completed for its market segment, it certainly would not be our first choice from the cases in this review. It is not the worst value solution that we have seen, but it is not the best, either.