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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [01.12.04]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake


Nice Window!

The window on the Skull is what actually got my attention when I first saw it at a local retail store:

It's a HUGE window, with an awesome looking honeycomb grille inlay. Those concerned with EMI shielding (anyone?) will be happy to know that the grille actually serves the function of an EMI shield, tested by ClassB.

Me, I am just interested in the looks, and I think this looks great! The only issues I have are that the window is rather large, but doesn't show off much of what really matters in the case... You see a lot of drive bays, and the side fan arm/HDD bay blocks off most of the motherboard. Still, overall, this is one of the cooler looking windows I've seen.

HardCano 10 Included!

The XaserIII Skull includes the HardCano 10. We didn't have the chance to review this unit, but I can quickly go over the features;

As you can see, 2 front USB 2.0 ports are built in, as well as a FireWire port. This serves as the case's front ports, as there are no others to be found on the case itself. Also included are 2 fan controllers, each with a corresponding temperature monitor. The temperature monitor includes memory as well, so you can check out the peak temperature of your compenents since the last time the PC was turned on (or since you last reset the memory).

The temp monitor also includes an alarm, and the blue backlit LCD flashes red when the alarm sounds.

Overall I think the HardCano 10 would be a great stand-alone product, let alone one to be included with this case!

Okay, enough playing with the exterior.. Let's rip this thing apart!

The Guts

One of the best features of the Xaser III Skull is that it is absolutely TOOL FREE. Unlike other cases which use thumbscrews instead of small screws (that you usually end up having to use a screwdriver on anyway), the Skull is TOTALLY screw free (with the exception of the PSU). This includes the doors as well, which use these handy tabs to keep the doors secure:


The Skull support chassis intrusion alarms as well, and includes a padlock loop for the side door, and a slide stopper for the door, should they happen to break through your padlock. I have to say though; if someone really wants to get inside your case, they'll do it. I guess this makes for a small preventative measure that will keep nosey people out of your system if it's in a somewhat secure location. The front door is lockable too, and comes with a pair of keys.

Even the motherboard tray is screwless. It is dismounted from the opposite side door, using the same type of tabs used by the doors. You might think "great, you can take the tray out without screws, but you still have to screw the mobo in right?? RIGHT?? ... WELL???" Umm, settle down man.. Check this out:

You clip your mobo into these pegs. They are VERY secure - almost too secure. It takes quite a bit of pressure to snap the case in. Luckily you don't have to pry it off from the front. Rather, you use the included motherboard removal tool, and pry it off from the back. This applies enough leverage to remove the mobo without bending and/or breaking it to pieces.

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