Something we’ve wanted to show you for some time now, the eXtreme case from ENlight, one of our newest sponsors. We’re sure there are many who probably haven’t heard of ENlight Corporation. They were also present at Computex 2006 and are well recognized for their quality system chassis and power supply units.
Among ENlight’s many chassis which are on offer there seems to now be one catering for gamers and it is this case we will be looking at today. The EN-4203 or eXtreme gaming case is designed to be a great looking chassis with some bells and whistles.
“Enlight Corporation was founded on the principles of Creativity, Sincerity and Excellence. These concepts formed the cornerstone of our growth and we have continued to build upon their foundation.
Today our Creativity is visible in the form of an ever-expanding Research and Development Group. Through this continuing investment Enlight has developed a worldwide reputation for its innovative designs and quality engineering. Enlight’s creativity goes further than the design of products; it also means innovative manufacturing technologies and a logistic system with global reach.”
At first glance it certainly is a pleasing sight. Nothing too out of the ordinary yet nothing too ordinary either.
Let’s first take a look at the front. The door is actually double hinged and by that we mean there are hinges both sides of the door. This obviously means you can choose which way you want the door to open. This is something more and more case manufactures should incorporate into their design since not everybody has their chassis to their right for example. There is a locking mechanism fitted as well for which keys are provided. At the top of the door you will find it hard to see at first, but there is actually a very fine cut of translucent plastic which appears as if as though it’s etched into the plastic and the shape reads “eXtreme”. Just below the door you will find a grill which is actually the ventilation and if you look just above the grill you will find a rectangular filler and if you’re wondering why it’s there it’s because ENlight offer an optional temperature sensor to be fitted there which is also available for purchase separately. Just above that is the status light for hard drive activity.
Ah yes, let us also mention there is an 8 in 1 card reader fitted to the eXtreme as standard and works over a USB 2.0 interface. A headphone and microphone port is located directly beneath along with two USB ports and the power switch. Also if you take note from the above picture, you can see two status lights, these lights shine through that translucent plastic you see on the door. There is space for up to four 5¼ drives and one 3½ floppy drive. Just near the bottom of those drive bays you’ll find the reset switch and the hole where the lock arm turns in to.
Above you see a closer look of the front panel with the fitted card reader.
The right side panel is non removable but you can see the eXtreme logo bevelled into the panel.
The left side panel is equipped with a 120mm blue LED fan which is totally translucent from blade to frame. You may have noticed the sticker on the panel there. That sticker is to remind you that ENlight offer an optional windowed side panel available to purchase separately which gives you some choice.
The top of the case has an eXtremely cool design. What we really like is how the consistency of the whole X shape runs through to the top of the case from the front. The top of this case has a carrying handle cleverly integrated into the design and just below that are the ventilation holes for an 80mm exhaust fan.
The rear of the ENlight eXtreme is pretty standard as you can see, however, it’s solid and there aren’t really any sharp edges.
Opening the case to reveal the interior is a pleasing experience but just for a moment let us bring your attention to the above picture. As standard there is a plastic fixing attached to the side panel to help port the air directly into the case and mostly over the CPU area to keep operating temperatures to a minimum. Everything fixed to that panel is translucent as you can see.
Ok so what you’re looking at above is no doubt the inside of the case. By default you are generously provided with 3 internal fans. One rather standard 92mm rear exhaust, an 80mm located on the top. This case is designed to provide a tool-less installation procedure. All the surrounding edges on the inside of this case are well smoothed off and you’re quite free from potential cuts and scratches. The hard drive cage is detachable, it is very easily done by undoing 4 thumbscrews which hold the cage very firmly in place.
The tool-less design makes installation of drives incredibly easier. You can see from above all that’s required is for you to slide the drives into place and just flick the sliders into the lock position. There are small icons imprinted on the plastic itself to tell you which position to move the sliders to. By now we’ve become eXtremely impressed by the small details on this particular chassis. Also if you look closely at the fan fitted to the top of the case. The fixing which holds the fan in place is also a tool-less mount which makes removing and installing a fan incredibly easy and quick.
It just keeps getting better. Take a look at the clips which hold your expansion cards in place. These are very tight and secure and just so easy to use. Once snapped into place they hold their ground and a fair amount of effort is required to release each clip so you can rest assured your cards will be kept tight and secure in their designated slots.
Testing & Performance
You know, it’s very strange because at this point we had hardly picked any weak points with this case until the time for testing. Obviously the best way to go about testing the EN-4203 is to start giving it some guts and see how practical of a chassis it makes itself out to be with regards to installation and the end result.
The case offers a lot of cable tucking opportunities and this would be pleasing to know for those who build systems with airflow and clutter in mind. There are also clips already placed in the case for you to route some of the wires through and because the hard drive cage is removable all this is made that much easier. All the components we had ready to install into the eXtreme gaming case seemed to fit well without any problems. We must admit we were a little worried as to whether or not we’d manage to fit our power supply into the chassis because of that top fan mount mentioned earlier. What we have noticed however is some power supplies may have trouble during installation as some units can be a tad bit longer than usual so this would require you to somehow remove the fan mount in order to fit the unit in. This would be in the minimal number of cases though so it’s not something that should be a major cause for concern.
Looking at the picture above you can tell we have actually managed to do some cable tucking, however, as this is not a full sized tower, if you have many cables there is only so much you can do. Still we think our system was much cleaner looking than in its previous case.
Above you see the case in action with the status lights lit. You can also see the totally awesome effect achieved because of the way the light shines through that earlier mentioned translucent plastic. The “eXtreme” logo is clearly visible when the system is in use and looks very attractive.
We did detect a slight a flaw with the placement of the lock for the door. Because it is placed at the bottom centre of the door, even if it is locked, anybody pulling on the door with moderate force could risk damaging the hinges. You see, this is where the great design also has a drawback. Because you can choose to have which side you wish to have the door open. It makes sense to place the lock in the middle but because of this anybody pulling on the sides could possibly damage the door. For this reason placing the lock on the top wouldn’t really prove much difference either and because of the very fact that the door is designed to be easily removed and switched around it could probably just pop off with kiddy strength. Of course we do realise the lock isn’t meant to act as a vault but with this door it’s a little bit pointless.
With all the parts in place the case had gathered a fair amount of weight which is why we appreciate that handle located on the top. It seems the case has a very solid build despite its plastic feel it is indeed very tough. In fact when carrying the case via the handle with all that weight there isn’t the slightest bit of noticeable flex in the handle, no clicks or snaps which indicate the case is quality built. We love the way the door opens and closes. It is very quiet and soft. It just feels good. We would like to point out however that the only thing which keeps the hinged part of the door attached are the small clips used to press against some rather small springs which can break easily to prevent the wrong side of the door from opening. This again, is why we see the lock as pointless.
The ENlight eXtreme gaming case is marvellous. This seems to be currently the only serious gaming case from ENlight corporation (at time of writing) and it is a very good one at that. We love every little detail and this case has some rather unique and distinct features. There is a lot on offer and you can really appreciate it for being there, you don’t wonder why it’s there, it’s just there and it works. We haven’t really come across any other ENlight cases in the past and to be honest we haven’t heard of them much in the past ourselves but they come out of from the shadows and offer a product geared towards gaming enthusiasts that has so much quality you’re left with a sense of happiness after putting it all together. Nearly everything about the EN-4203 is great. You can clearly see there has been a lot of thought put into this product especially when you touch upon its smallest of details. The door closes so nicely, the eXtreme logo is so very elegantly placed in the door’s plastic which picks up the blue light, the PCI slot swivel clips are just so well made and work too well, the tool-less installation of 5¼ drives is made so easy with those sliding locks and lots more. Once you own this case you will you seriously appreciate it immensely, however, as this is not a full sized ATX case do not expect plenty of space inside, that said even though this is a mid-tower it still has a good amount of space inside. Overall we are eXtremely pleased with the ENlight eXtreme and it’s a product well recommended.
A big thanks goes to ENlight who provided us with the review sample. We’d also like to take this opportunity to tell you that techlobby.co.uk has and ENlight corporation bring you an exclusive competition with the chance to win this very case that we have reviewed. What’s more you will also get the windowed side panel that’s normally available separately to purchase. So why not enter the competition while you can? Check out the forum for more information and also additional pictures of the EN-4203 with its windowed side panel.
- Superior build quality for a plastic shelled chassis
- Lot’s of unique and useful small details
- Excellent design, nothing too wild and nothing too simple
- Built-in 8 in 1 card reader
- Door can open from right to left or vice versa
- Ready to acquire temperature monitor (sold separately)
- 4 case fans provided
- Removal hard drive cage
- Good tool-less design
- Carry handle built into the design
- Lots of cable tucking opportunities
- Top fan mount may get in the way with longer PSUs
- Front door lock is a little pointless
- No removable motherboard tray
- Not 100% tool-less