The HD160 comes in a typical, colorfully printed retail box, securely nestled between two Styrofoam inserts and protected inside plastic wrapping.
Three things caught my attention when I first unpacked the case. The HD160 is relatively large for a desktop style home theater PC enclosure. This bodes well for easy installation and good case cooling. Even though the HD160 is quite large, it’s also noticeably light, thanks to the aluminum construction. And last but not least; the HD160 is gorgeous. This home theater PC enclosure will certainly be able to hold its own if placed in a rack with other high-end audio-video gear. In addition to the case itself, the following accessories come bundled with the HD160.
Â· IR Remote Control with batteries and Installation CD
Â· ATX Power Cable Adapter (for standby power)
Â· Package of hardware and cable anchors
Â· USB 2.0 Cable
Â· Printed User’s Manual
The brushed aluminum front panel is a solid aluminum extrusion and is a full 8mm (.315′) thick. Zalman has a well earned reputation for doing things right and the HD160 appears to be no exception. The styling is simple, but elegant, with clean lines and subtle features.
Below the large Vacuum Fluorescent Display are the primary controls:
Â· Power On-Off button
Â· Reset button
Â· Power-On LED
Â· HDD Activity LED
Â· Volume control knob
The push buttons have a nice solid feel to them and the VFD is clear and easy to read without being too bright and distracting. The display characters are relatively small though, so don’t expect to read them from the far side of a large room. The volume control knob looks good but doesn’t have the same quality-feel as the rest of the components.
The HD160 includes an aluminum trim piece that is designed to replace the standard plastic drawer front on an optical drive for a professional, uniform look. It attaches with double-sided tape and fit the Sony DVD drive I used perfectly.
Below the optical drive bay on the left side of the front panel is a hinged, drop-down door that conceals the card reader and I/O ports. The card reader is a nice feature that in the past was rarely included and required users to add their own. The little door and the spring-loaded latch have a nice solid feel and work well.
Â· 17-in-1 Card Reader (USB)
Â· (2) USB 2.0 ports
Â· IEEE1394 Firewire port
Â· Mic (audio in)
Â· Headphones (audio out)
A quick look at the bottom of the HD160 chassis reveals four large audio equipment style feet and air intake slots below the internal HDD cage and in front of the power supply area.
The two sides are mirror images of each other and include large vents at the rear, which are covered with fine metal mesh grills. One side lets air in to cool the expansion cards in the PCI/AGP/PCI-E slot area and the other side lets air in to cool the power supply (if the power supply has a bottom mounted intake fan and is positioned in that direction).
Moving around to the rear of the HD160 enclosure reveals a typical ATX layout that could just as easily be found on a mid-tower case. The HD160 accepts a standard, full size ATX power supply. The power supply does not bolt directly to the back panel as in most cases, but instead bolts to a small flange that is mounts to the rear panel with four Â¼’ standoffs for a recessed look.
The two 80mm Zalman labeled fans (ZF8025ASH) incorporate sleeve bearings and are capable at running at either 12V or 5V. Each fan is mounted with rubber grommets to minimize vibration transmitted to the chassis and fitted with a quiet, non-restricting wire guard — well done!
A Large circular vent is located towards the back of the top cover, over the CPU area. This vent can be opened or closed with a flat-blade screwdriver or small coin to adjust the amount of airflow into this area of the case.
The included remote control is intended primarily for use with Windows MCE to enable multimedia software operation and control. The IR receiver is located behind the VFD window and is supplied with power even when the computer is turned off.