Zalman’s latest cases are sleek, pricey

Computex — Alongside the usual mix of coolers and PSUs, Zalman is showing off a handful of new enclosure designs in Taipei this week. In a word, they’re gorgeous. The star of the show is easily a new tower prototype crafted entirely from brushed and anodized aluminum.

A lot of aluminum enclosures use thin panels laid over a steel subframe. Not this puppy, whose aluminum walls are three millimeters thick and incredibly sturdy all on their own. With no need for scaffolding, the case’s innards are nice and clean. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere to hide a system’s internal cabling.

I’m inclined to forgive the lack of cable routing options because I’m too easily distracted by the beautifully machined drive cages. Then there’s the outer shell, which wraps a single sheet of aluminum around the top and left-hand sides of the case. Despite being riddled with ventilation holes, the panel feels just as solid as everything else. Of course, all this artfully crafted aluminum won’t come cheap. Zalman says the tower will cost around $700 when it hits the market later this year.

Thick aluminum panels have become a staple of high-end Zalman cases, and a single one makes up the company’s new Mini-ITX enclosure—not that there’s anything enclosed about it. Based on a Zalman monitor stand, this case hides mounting brackets for a Mini-ITX motherboard, 5.25" optical drive, 3.5" hard drive, and microATX PSU. There isn’t much clearance for CPU coolers or expansion cards, but it’s an interesting concept for minimalists with deep pockets. Zalman says the case (if you can even call it that) will sell for around $170 and be available soon.

Comments closed
    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    It’s not the shape that dissapoints me about Zalman’s cases, it’s the airflow. They have no concern for airflow….just look at the first picture…does anyone see a fan on the front? I sure don’t. Cases like 690II allows you to fit up to 10 fans…..what does Zalman have in it’s favour? Paint colour? Zalman case anyone? Oh dear, please no……

    • FuturePastNow
    • 8 years ago

    I look forward to Rosewill or some similar brand selling a knock-off of that monitor stand for a third the price.

    • cynan
    • 8 years ago

    $700?! OK, machined aluminum billet is expensive, but nobody’s going to buy this.

    At least when Lian Li (arguably a pioneer of high end aluminum cases) charges $300+ for a case, it is easy to see what the extra $$ is for…

    And speaking of Lian Li, they’ve also introduced some new cases. Guess they’re not at computex?

    I rather like the [url=http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=574&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=62&g=f<]PC-Z60[/url<]. Great size (just big enough for dual GPU), bottom mounted PSU, USB 3.0, with ports at the top of the case, tooless everything... If the price of these drops to $200 or so, this might be my next case.

    • RobbyBob
    • 8 years ago

    Hmm, no cable routing options in a $700.00 case? Does the thing come filled with gold?

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    Everyone of the Zalman cases that I have been able to play with are amazing and this one looks to continue that tradition of very high end cases. Unfortunately all the Zalman cases are ridiculously expensive this one included.

    It’s really a shame because the cases are that nice and I would love to own one.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    that big case is good looking but that price makes it a no buy for me.

    • timbits
    • 8 years ago

    the monitor stand / ‘case’ looks really interesting, but they have to move those little speakers out of the line of sight of the monitor. maybe move them off to the side, on the angled portion of the stand?
    also, black seems the obvious choice given everything else being black.
    and $170 for what, an angled piece of plastic with no PSU? yikes

    • [+Duracell-]
    • 8 years ago

    Oddly enough, that Zalman Mini-ATX enclosure looks really slick to me…think that would support a 42″ plasma TV? 😀

      • JDZZL
      • 8 years ago

      i’d be willing to bet that it would… the tv can’t weigh more than 40 or 50 pounds?

    • holophrastic
    • 8 years ago

    QUICK EVERYONE LOOK!!!

    Another rectangular box. Our fourth one this week, at least.

    I’m so tired. I still can’t believe no case maker has decided to actually design anything.

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      Except when they do, people complain that its weird, that its too expensive, and that it doesn’t sit nicely on a desk, etc. Look at the Antec Skeleton, the Lian Li Anniversary Case, etc. No one bought them because they were ‘weird’.

        • astrotech66
        • 8 years ago

        I really wanted a Skeleton, but with a cat (lots of hair) and three kids who can’t keep their hands off things, I didn’t think it would work well. I was imagining little fingers going into the big fan on top. Plus, I’d have had to put it on the desktop where there isn’t really room for it.

        • holophrastic
        • 8 years ago

        no one bought the skeleton because it’s illegal — electrical safety hazard.

          • FuturePastNow
          • 8 years ago

          It is not. What the Skeleton is, is too expensive.

      • willyolio
      • 8 years ago

      it’s hilarious you decided to make this comment on the one article where a featured case is clearly not a rectangular box.

        • holophrastic
        • 8 years ago

        I see two rectangular boxes. point me to the one that you think has corners rounded enough to no longer be a rectangle.

          • willyolio
          • 8 years ago

          i see your definition of “rectangular box” includes an open trapezoid as well. with criteria that broad, I could point you to lian-li spider and you’d still call it a rectangular box.

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