Lancool is the cheap and cheerful division of Lian Li, providing budget-grade cases for gamers and short-on-cash enthusiasts. Given that they often have a lot of Lian Li touches, the cheaper aspects of the Lancool range tend to grate on us - but not so with the new Dragonlord. The name might be a bit laughable, but we're dead serious about how good this case really is.
The external design has just enough flair to set it apart from the usual case crowd, with a mesh-fronted fascia and clear side-panel window. A plastic grill on the case's top adds more visual impact, while also protecting two 140mm LED exhaust fans. There's another 140mm LED fan at the front, as an intake, and further 120mm fan at the rear. The intake is protected by a removable filter, as are all the grills covering the 5.25in bays. That's pretty impressive itself; Lancool hasn't stopped there, though, and each fan is sound-damned by rubber grommets.
Removing the sidepanels reveals even more sound damping measures. The PSU rests on a raised pair of rails, with rubber pads. The PSU itself is secured by a locking metal bar, again lined with rubber. An intake in the case's bottom accommodates PSU's with fans underneath, and this too is protected by a filter.
The HDD cage gets some rubber-loving, too, with each drive locked into a caddy with rubber grommets that slides into the bay, before a screw secured locking mechanism latches them in place. There's even a peel-off sheet of rubber pads to ensure your optical drives and other 5.25in devices don't spoil the quiet party. The effort put into noise reduction is bloody impressive. But that's not the Dragonlord's best trick by a long shot.
Like many other case-builders, Lancool has opted for a tool-less design to secure expansion cards. Unlike many other case-builders, Lancool's system works. Once again, rubber pads play a big part, alongside a two-stage latching mechanism that is the most secure we've seen - even large multi-GPU monsters will be safe in this system's rubber hands.
Cable management is pretty solid, though a touch cramped. There's not quite enough room behind the mobo plate to run cables, though there are passthroughs if you want to try. There's a neat plastic cable-run system on the case's bottom plate, and that'll help, but you'll still need to be judicious with the cable ties if you want to take advantage of the Dragonlord's excellent airflow.
About the only real downer with this case is its structural quality. There's a lot of travel in the chassis, and it doesn't take a lot of weight to warp the case out of true. This isn't an issue if your case is staying put once built, but it does rule it out if you frequently tote your rig to LANs. That aside, this isn't just the best Lancool case we've seen, but when of the best we've seen for this price. Period.