2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued

Casetek's CK-1021 has tried to produce a number of unique features to push Casetek into a small package. Much of what we see here was previously seen in a full tower configuration of a similar case provided by Enermax. While it is clear that the CK-1021 offers many of the features that buyers are looking for, we were somewhat puzzled by the lack of a side-mounted window or additional venting capability to truly take advantage of the side-mounted 92mm fans within our test case. What is unique, however, is how Casetek presents this package with a flair that will interest many buyers. While not as large as the full tower configuration of this case seen previously, the CK-1021 still offers a significant amount of "bang" for the buck. We continue to encounter some "glitchy" behavior in the construction of this case, which cost us more than several frustrating minutes while assembling and disassembling this case.

Casetek's decision to opt for only a 1mm aluminum material presents some potential stability issues with this case. With the side panel removed, the CK-1021 presents a significant amount of twist and a significant amount of bend. Clearly, this means that the case is not as durable with the side panel removed; this is due to the reliance of the side panel as a primary support for the CK-1021's stability. The CK-1021 features a riveted design with no evidence of spot or projection welding utilized in its construction.

A look inside the CK-1021.

The 1.0mm aluminum selection was not necessarily a bad decision, but it was clear that while pressing on the back of the chassis that this case will exhibit more flexibility than other cases. While sporting primarily a tool-free design that utilizes a variety of innovative mechanisms to eliminate the long assembly time required by other case designs, it is unfortunate that the CK-1021 does not include a manual to aid the first-time user in assembling this case. Some of the assembly utilizes methods that are going to be new to some novice buyers and assembly may be frustrating for these people. When assembled, however, the case was sturdy and held the components sturdily; however, we did encounter some play in several of the rails with our optical drive configuration.