Date: July 25th, 2005
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Aspire USA
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION (cont'd)
The right side is unremarkable with the exception of….
….the front panel connectors and controls. From the top down, we have one Firewire port, two USB 2.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks. Below these, you'll find the wheel controls for sound sensitivity and fan speed control. We'll discuss these in detail later on.
With the front door open, you can see a conventional drive bay arrangement, chrome power and reset buttons, indicator lights and a large air intake with a silver colored “blade” styled device backed by a mesh screen. Personally, I don't care for this device, as it doesn't seem to follow the theme of the rest of the chassis. Three magnetic catches keep the door in the closed position, interacting with three screws on the back of the door. When closed, there is not much room between the door and the front panel, precluding the use of any bay devices with knobs or buttons that protrude more than about 1/8” into this area. The door swings open slightly more than 90 degrees, limited by the wire bundle at bottom left.
During shipping, the aforementioned screws scratched a small area of paint from the inside front bezel, exposing the white plastic substrate. This damage occurred at the top and bottom catches, but not the center. The screws protrude slightly from the door and are not located directly over the magnets. I like the design, but it wasn't implemented very well in this particular instance. Another plastic sheet between the door and the front panel could have prevented this damage during shipping, but not during normal usage.
After removing four screws and depressing six plastic clips, the front panel can be removed, revealing a basic front configuration. Two 80mm fans (sadly, not included) can be placed near the bottom for additional airflow into the case. Speaking from personal experience, I know that: A) the perforated areas are restrictive, and B) adding fans here will improve cooling significantly.
With this part of the review behind us, it's time to install some hardware into the X-Cruiser and see how it performs.