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Reviewed by: Ed Lau [02.03.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson
Manufactured by: Thermaltake

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Part 2...er...3 Rather

What ever happened to the first Xaser?  Why was the previous case the second and this one the third?  One of these days, I gotta figure out how Thermaltake names their products...

Anyways, 6 months ago, lowlight took a look at Thermaltake's first foray into the world of designer cases.  We had high expectations and the Xaser II surpassed them all.  It was undoubtedly the best looking case to ever arrive at hardCOREware, overflowing with features.  Some people dismissed it as a "modified Antec" and others just plain didn't like pre-modded cases but not one could say that they didn't react with a "Holy crap!" when they first laid eyes on it.

When I first saw this case from pictures lowlight took at Comdex, I was rather...disappointed.  I thought  "Woohoo...new bezel and top mounted USB.  Color me unimpressed."

Boy, was I wrong.  After taking this aluminum beauty out of the foam-packed box and took a look inside, I needed a bib.  Six months is a long time in the computer industry and lots can happen.  Improvements are almost a given after half a year and I assure you, Thermaltake did not disappoint.

YES!  My PC has a BETTER set of keys!

               

Again, most of you will recognize this as a Chenming or Antec case, something that everyone and their duckbilled platypus has. 

It's not.  Believe me.

I've owned a similar Antec and the previous Thermaltake Xaser and I can tell you right now, feature-wise, the Xaser III leaves them both in the dust...literally.  You'll see why a bit later.  The first feature that you'll need to look at is the new keys and the new lock.  Now, the keys themselves aren't really better but the new locking mechanism is.  Again, it's a great way to keep your PC's hardware secure.  Short of breaking the case, it would be very hard for anyone to get inside.

              

The locking mechanism's operation is three-fold.  The first position locks the entire case, including the side panels.  The second position opens up the front door.  Now, upon doing so, you'll notice something different...namely...where are the drive rails?  Also, you might be trying to figure out how to open up the side panel which doesn't seem to come off.

This is where the third position of the lock comes into play.  Turn the key all the way and it swings open the entire front bezel, allowing you to access the drive bays.  This gives the front bezel a cleaner look when you swing open the front door. 

              

Also on the inside of the front bezel is a knob which locks and unlocks the side panel.

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