A Detailed Look – At the Outside
As we took the HTPC 8000 out of the retail packaging, we got our first glimpse at this wood case. The case itself is actually pretty small compared to what we saw during our research on nMediaPC’s website. The red-colored wood is absolutely beautiful and the attention to detail with the laser-cut panels gives this case a luxurious feel that would integrate well with most elegant and modern entertainment systems.
As we take a closer look at the front panel, we can see a weathered look to the plastic panel that houses an optical bay door, optional LCD module window, multi-card reader, and ports for eSATA, USB 2.0, and firewire. They also included a large knob that acts as the power button and a smaller button for resetting the system. My only concerns with the front panel are the missing LCD module and the choice of font and coloring for the names of each available port. The font is hard to read and would have stood out better if it was painted a different color or worked into the overall design better. I would have also liked this case to come standard with the LCD module instead of as an optional upgrade. I hope consumers read the fine print when they purchase these online so they aren’t disappointed that the case doesn’t have the LCD module when its shipped to their homes.
Here’s another close-up shot of the bottom edging around the HTPC 8000. The detail work is outstanding as well as the overall design of the case.
The top panel of the HTPC 8000 matches the rest of the red wood and gold theme perfectly and the laser etching looks great too. If it wasn’t so small, I would have thought this case was a coffee table or old stereo system if I saw it hooked up in someone’s living room.
The right-side panel has a small gold handle to move the case easily to new locations in the house. The width of this case is around 14 inches, which barely makes enough room for a full-size ATX motherboard and power supply.
Here’s a quick shot of the left-side panel of the case. It matches the right-side panel exactly to be consistent with the theme of the HTPC 8000.
The back panel of the HTPC 8000 looks like a typical PC case with room for a full-size ATX power supply, ATX motherboard, and additional PCI devices. It also houses the only exterior fan in this case, which is a large 140mm fan that spins at low RPMs to reduce noise, but still exhaust heat from the system.
The exterior of the HTPC 8000 really impresses me in a lot of ways, but there are a few areas that could be improved. Here’s my breakdown of suggested improvements for the HTPC 8000:
- Make LCD module standard
- Change font and coloring of front panel port descriptions
- Use removable motherboard tray for entire back panel