Date: February 22nd, 2010
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Thermaltake USA
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
Up front, we can see the three big bays and Thermaltake has included a 3.5-inch bay as well, all with black mesh covers. There are also some vent details on the bottom sides of the plastic front bezel. The top of the case features the front I/O panel and a 200mm fan placement which is home to a red LED fan. The right side panel is smooth and unremarkable so…I won't remark on it.
The angled I/O panel features the customary audio ports, two well-spaced USB 2.0 ports and the reset and power buttons. Not exactly what one would call full-featured, the I/O panel will get the job done for most users, but those wanting FireWire or eSATA on the front panel will have to look elsewhere for a case. The buttons and audio port surrounds are red in color, in keeping with the red LED fan on the top of the chassis, and the HDD activity and power LEDs are also red and backlight the buttons.
The rear of the chassis sports the ubiquitous blue-gray color of a steel chassis, which never used to bother me much until manufacturers started painting the backplane and interior. For the most part, it's not really an issue since the rear of the case is seldom the focal point and there is no side window. At any rate, the rear of this Element is largely conventional in design with the exception of the bottom mounted PSU and the two tubing access knockouts just to the right of the PSU mount. Thermaltake also offers, as an option, a cable locking system similar to what you might have seen on laptops that attaches to the rear of the chassis. Another security feature is the mouse/keyboard cable lock, seen here just below the 120mm rear exhaust fan placement. Four thumbscrews secure the side panels and this panel has a placement for a 230, or 120mm intake fan but neither is included.
With the side panel off, we're presented with a very basic layout that, while not very exciting, will hold a lot of gear. The Element T will hold up to six hard drives and three ODD sized devices plus a floppy sized device and a 2.5-inch hardie.
There are a couple of tool-free mechanisms for the front bays and we'll see how they work during installation, but there is no fan in the front of the case to cool the drives. Perhaps the top and rear exhaust fans will pull some air through this area, but I'm skeptical. Thermaltake uses six bump-outs on the motherboard tray in lieu of traditional standoffs, and four bump-outs for 2.5-inch drive mounting. I'm not thrilled about the latter, as the user will need to run the mounting screws in from the bottom.