Date: June 20th, 2006
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Thermaltake
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)
A large acrylic window dominates the left side panel. This panel is held in place by two enormous thumbscrews and two latches at the rear. The top latch has a lock included in its design, one of a few security features that Thermaltake has incorporated into the Jr. The window sits flush with the panel and is secured by black plastic rivets. A mesh covered hole in the window provides some added ventilation but I can't say it does much for the aesthetics of the Jr. The cast-in Thermaltake logo will become more visible when backlit by the front fan and its blue LEDs.
Moving around to the rear, Mr. Bones likes the monstro thumbscrews, but finds them somewhat redundant. He thinks we should move them over to the other panel, since we'll have to take this side off for installation anyway. Near the top left are two keys that fit the side panel latch as well as the front panel lock. This is the first of several security features that the Jr. offers. The PSU opening is designed to allow an “upside-down” installation should the user wish. Conventional placement is, of course, also supported. One of Thermaltake's trademark black and orange 120mm fans pulls warm air out of the case and the customary seven expansion slots complete the rear panel features.
The right panel is unremarkable, having no ventilation openings. The silver metallic finish of the panel matches the front bezel nicely. To clarify the information given on Thermaltake's website, the chassis and front doors are aluminum; the bezel between them is plastic. The second security feature of the Jr. is a lock that keeps the front bezel secured against the unwelcome attention of others. As mentioned above, this feature greatly simplifies installation as well. Matching feet can be rotated outward on their mounts to increase stability.
Almost dead-center on top of the Jr., the so-called front panel connectors live under a trap door with a push-to-release catch. I really don't care for this arrangement. Call me old school, but I think the front panel connectors should be located, well, on the front panel. Here, the ports are difficult to use unless the case is on the floor and, as we'll see later, may preclude the use of some power supplies. I'd much rather see a low-speed fan (or nothing at all) in this area.
Inside, there are spots for lots of hardware. The drive cage alone will hold four HDDs! As we'll see during installation, the innovative design of the drive cage allows some welcome flexibility with respect to drive placement. Numerous ventilation holes pepper the floor of the Jr. We'll take a more detailed look at the interior of the Jr. in the next section.
At the top rear of the case, just below the PSU space, is the rear 120mm fan, which exhausts air through a honeycomb grill. Both case fans employ 4-pin connectivity. The gizmo indicated by the top arrow is the speaker. I'm frankly puzzled by Thermaltake's placement choice. While the cable is probably long enough to reach the headers on most any motherboard, I'd rather the speaker be hidden away somewhere closer to the front of the case. The lower arrow points to yet another security feature of the Jr. This switch activates an intrusion alarm when the case is opened. This switch is easily removed if your motherboard does not support this feature. The expansion cards are secured by a tool-free system that we'll critique during installation. The cables for the USB, FireWire and audio ports are well marked and sufficiently long to facilitate a trouble-free installation.