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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.24.04]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake 

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Who did Thermaltake copy this time?

It's no secret that Thermaltake's products have gone downhill in the past year or so. We really liked their coolers when they first started introducing 'smart' fans for heatsinks when nobody else was. They weren't always the best performing products, but they were often the most unique.

But in the past year, things haven't been the same. Last week, we tore apart the "Giant III" heatsink, for being nothing more than a ripoff of another product, with some pointless fans added. People say their cases are among the ugliest around, but that's really up to individual tastes to decide.

I'm not going to draw any conclusions about whether this lower quality has anything to do with their move to mainland China around this time last year...

Anyway, back to the title, who did they copy this time? If the "Damier" name and checker design (complete with the Thermaltake name in random checkers) looks familiar to you, you would be absolutely correct. It's a copy of the popular high end bag designer Louis Vuitton's "Damier" lineup:

Now Thermaltake is most definitely not the first Asian company to copy a design from some other product. Not by a long shot. But if they are trying to appeal to gamers or even high end PC users with the Damier design, I think they are going about it the total wrong way.

If you've been to Asia, or live in an area with a large Asian population, you will very likely notice housewives sporting an "LV" inspired design on every knock off product imaginable throughout the day: cell phone covers, knock off purses, sunglasses, shoes, pants, watches, etc, etc.. It never ends! To actually take an "LV" design and incorporate it into a high end PC case is pretty interesting; it's usually confined to small cheap products you'd find at a night market for under $5.

Nonetheless, the LV inspired design is, well... I'll leave it up to you to decide what you think of it:

I guess Thermaltake is trying to corner the "Asian Housewife" market with the Damier

As we continue with the review, keep in mind that the "Damier" is not the only version of the Xaser 5 available right now. There is also the "WinGo" Xaser 5, which is exactly the same in every way, except the design of the front door. Furthermore, it does not include a Hardcano fan controller, which keeps the price down.

Now let's take a closer look at this housewife case...

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