posted 7/25/2003 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
Computer cases, for a while they were just plain beige boxes that sat underneath your desk. Then people figured out that you modify your case to make it look better as well as show off the stuff you put in the case, kind of geek “Fast and the Furious” thing. These cases used to be confined to those with steady hands, the ability to use a dremel, and some skills in installing windows. Case manufacturers have heard the cry of the masses and have developed pre-modded cases so those of you without any kind of skill with tools (like me) can have something worth showing off.

Antec is one of the companies and they’ve introduced their new LANBOYcase, the first in their new Specialty line of cases. First off, yes the name is the LANBOY, yes…LANBOY. The marketing folks at Antec who came up with the name really need to taken to the shed and taught what a good name is. I say this due to the amount of crap I’ve taken from my friends and significant other about the name of the case.

The first thing I noticed about the LANBOY was how light it was. This was my first aluminum case and the weight difference is amazing. Once out of the box it was hard to believe how light weight the case was. The aluminum construction material also helps dissipate heat which is always helpful. Antec also throws in a handy-dandy carrying case that slides right over the computer so you can transport it around easily.

Another nice little touch is the mini-carrying case on the back of the box. It serves two functions: to cover your PCI slots and to store screws or other small bits so you don’t lose them. This is actually pretty handy so there’s no need to dig through a box of screws looking for the right set.

The case itself is rather attractive. It’s a nice dark silver color with a nice sized window on the left side of the case. The case supports four externally accessible 5.25” drives, two 3.5” external drives, and two 3.5” internal drives. The LANBOY uses a hybrid drive-rail system. You attach one of the rails to the right side of the drive, slide it into the case, and then screw the drive into the chassis. You really don’t have to screw them in but it helps keep them in there nice and tight (this does kind of defeat the whole “quick release concept” but that’s up to you). Nestled below the 5.25” drives are the two 3.5” drive bays. The two internal 3.5” bays are a separate cage that you can pull out and then put back in once you’ve screwed your hard drives into the case. The locking mechanism is pretty nice but it can be a little tough the first few times figuring out how to get it back into place. This is a nice concept and a necessity since the right side panel is riveted to the case and you couldn’t get to that side of the cage if you wanted to.

The LANBOY also had a front door to protect the external 5.25” drives. You either love the clean look of having a door to protect your drives or you hate having to open the door to get at the drives and power/reset buttons. Personally I would have like to have the power and reset buttons below the door so you don’t have to open it to turn your system on.

Below the door are the two external USB ports. These are a nice touch so you don’t constantly have to run around of the back of the computer to hook up devices. The only downside is that since there isn’t much of a standard in the way of hooking the USB ports to the motherboard you have to manually sort through the 10 connectors (5 for each port) to hook them to the motherboard. This isn’t really that bad if you have small hand but it’s kind of a pain in the ass if you have big hands and not so much dexterity with your fingers.
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