Montech is a newcomer to the US PC parts market, having recently asked us to take a look at its new Air 100 ARGB chassis. While its design is fairly standard, and its Micro-ATX size means its appeal is limited, when we heard about the price, we were happy to heft this compact tower onto our test bench.
The Air 100 chassis comes in Lite and ARGB variants, with the latter on deck today carrying a price tag of $70 for the black version. Going white will cost about $5 to $10 extra, and cutting the RGB drops the base price down to about $52.
Without further ado, lets find out if this surprisingly affordable chasis deserves a spot on our Best PC Cases list.
|Motherboard Support||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||16.7 x 8.2 x 15.9 inches (425 x 210 x 405 mm)|
|Max GPU Length||12.9 inches (330 mm)|
|CPU Cooler Height||6.3 inches (161 mm)|
|Internal Bays||2x 3.5-inch|
|Front I/O||2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, discrete 3.5 mm Audio & Mic|
|Other||1x Tempered Glass Panel, RGB Controller|
|Front Fans||3x 120 mm (Up to 2x 140mm, 3x 120mm)|
|Rear Fans||1x 120mm (Up to 1x 120mm)|
|Top Fans||None (Up to 2x 140mm)|
Touring around the outside of the chassis, it’s clear that this is a case with very simple, straightforward design language, and I quite like it. There’s no fuffing about with extravagant shapes, just clean and simple, with three intake fans as the most aggressive design feature – but they look quite good.
Around the top of the case you’ll find the exhaust for the top fans or radiators, along with the IO. The exhaust isn’t recessed for a sleek finish once fans are installed, and although a filter is included to place over it, this top area doesn’t look particularly refined.
IO is very complete though, with two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, dedicated microphone and headphone jacks, and power and reset switches – though the reset switch is wired to the RGB controller from the factory to control the lighting. I’ve been hard on cases for doing that before, but because it’s not actually marked as a reset switch on the outside of the chassis here, I see no reason why that would be a problem with this case.
The case’s panels all come off quite easily – the glass panel has a handle to easily swivel it out, after which you can lift it off its hinge, and the front panel is held in with magnets, so it comes off with just a light tug -- a bit too light though, the magnets aren’t very strong.
The panel on the right side of the chassis comes off by removing two thumbscrews, though they don’t stay fixed to the panel like many other cases do.
In the main compartment of the chassis, you’ll find room for up to Micro-ATX motherboards and GPUs up to 12.9 inches (330mm) long. Other than that, there’s not much going on here that’s worth mentioning, though I do appreciate the rubber cable grommets for keeping things tidy.
Along the rear side of the chassis we spot room for the ATX power supply, a single 3.5-inch hard drive and two 2.5 inch SSDs, though you can secure another drive to the top of the drive cage.
This is also where the RGB controller hides.
At this point we haven’t reached testing yet, but cooling should be one of the Air 100’s strengths – it comes with four 120mm RGB fans, has room for CPU coolers up to up to 6.3 inches (161mm) tall, and can fit up to a 240mm radiator at the top or a 360mm unit at the front (the spec sheet lists a 280mm max, I don’t see why a 360mm radiator wouldn’t fit), albeit at the sacrifice of some GPU space. The fans come with a 1x 3-pin to 4x 3-pin splitter so that you can connect all fans up to a single header.