Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Going into this review I had high hopes for Zalman’s new Fatal1ty enclosure — and I still do! In spite of a few rough edges I really like this case. Overall, it is a very good chassis with just the right balance of clean lines, functionality, and aggressive styling that I like. The materials, construction techniques, and build quality are excellent. The layout of the front panel is near perfect and the included red LED cooling fans and easy to use, vibration isolating HDD cage are great. Unfortunately, the FC-ZE1 enclosure also has a couple first generation flaws, which need to be corrected before this bad-boy is ready for prime time and can more appropriately justify the high price of admission.
In the big picture, the strengths of the Ftal1ty FC-ZE1 enclosure far outweigh the weaknesses. But when I have to spend $350.00 for a case, I expect perfection. If you like the size, styling, and features and aren’t worried about the side door getting in your way and don’t plan to use the lower PCI slot then the Fatal1ty Champ1on Series enclosure is ready for action. If on the other hand you plan to work frequently inside your case and need the lower PCI slot you should probably wait for Zalman to fix these issues (hopefully soon 🙂
The MSRP for the Zalman Fatal1ty FC-ZE1 Champ1on Series enclosure is $369.95 USD but it is currently available from Sharka Computers for $349.95 USD.
- Materials, construction techniques, and build quality are excellent
- Clean, aggressive styling
- Black anodized finish inside and out
- Easy to use, vibration damping HDD cage
- Excellent front panel layout
- Included cooling fans with red LEDs
- Good airflow and case ventilation
- Hinged side door with large viewing window
- Classy audiophile style feet
- Laser-etched logos and lettering (maybe a little overdone)
Lower PCIexpansion slot blocked by frame rail
- Side-panel door is not removable
- No internal power supply support bracket
- Heavy (not too LAN Party friendly)
Additional Wish-List Items for Version 2:
- Higher-quality, metal audiophile feet
- Hinged door on right side for accessing drive bays
- Thicker plastic used in side window (or tempered glass)
- Replaceable PCI slot covers
- Sculptured aluminum handles on top (Mac)
I would like to thank our good friends at Zalman for sending us the new Fatal1ty enclosure to review — thank you! Zalman’s full line of products are available from SharkaComputers.com or you can use our price checking engine to find the best price for the Fatal1ty case or anything else you may want to buy!
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