A Look Around the M1
Simply put, the fit and finish of the case is excellent. Edges are square, panels are flat and sit fairly tight against the frame, and the black finish on this example is really good (the M1 has also been available in silver). In keeping with its sleek aesthetic there are very few visible screws, with only one on the top and nothing on the front or sides. Obviously a lot of attention has been paid to details here, and the OEM for NCASE, Lian Li, knows a thing or two about working with aluminum on enclosures.
The front of the enclosure showcases the M1's minimalist approach to design. It is dominated by a removable panel with no openings, and below there only a small logo and the front I/O; with two USB 3.0 ports and audio along with the power button (which lights up blue when the system is on).
The sides are identical, with plenty of air flow from the upper half of each panel.
Looking at the back view the M1 may look like like a typical enclosure, but this is an optical illusion. It is proportionally scaled, and resembles a tiny micro-ATX case in person (it’s so much smaller than anything I’ve built with!).
You might get a sense of the scale from that rear I/O opening on the left. The M1 measures at just 9.85” tall and only 6.3” wide, it’s not even big enough for a standard rear fan mount (that rear fan opening only supports 80/92mm fans). There are grommets for external water cooling as well, and regardless of custom or AIO cooling solutions it supports 240mm radiators inside.
The top of the case is perforated like the side panels, and there is a slot about the length of a CD over on the front edge… (More on that later!)
A look at the bottom of the case reveals a mounting point for a hard drive on the left, and the case floor does support dual 120mm fans as well.
All panels (front, sides, top) are connected with clips, and are easy to remove.
A little more pressure is needed than you might expect, but the clips are strong and seemed to hold up well to repeated use. The only issue with removal is that force could flex the aluminum panels, though they are rather easily flattened again if this happens.
With the panels removed we'll take a look at the build process next.
The case may look open now, but it's about to get PACKED