A little bit different: ThermalTake Chaser Mk-1

A little bit different: ThermalTake Chaser Mk-1

Review: A big blue chassis sits on some big fat feet and hides some rather interesting features.

One of the interesting challenges of case design is how to be bold and unique, but still appeal to a broad range of PC builders. Go too far down the path of idiosyncrasy and you end up appealing to a smaller and smaller subset of users; don’t go far enough, and you risk wallowing amongst the shallow end of the PC chassis genepool.

ThermalTake’s decided to walk the longer path, and has come up with an atypical choice of accent colour, coupled with some great features and aggressive design. We suspect that this isn’t a case for everyone – and, to be honest, not one that we’d likely build in – but it’s a pretty good choice if you like harsh angles and the colour blue.

The front fascia is all angled mesh, accented by acute cut-outs down the edges and a slightly beaky protuberance along the top. If you had to compare it to anything, the angles are kind of reminiscent of the stealth bomber. It’s all black, except for blue highlight on the front drive bays – these also serve as a very easy pinch-and-release mechanism to reveal the bays behind. The top panel continues the angular approach, and features a mesh inset over a 200mm exhaust fan, with a big power button and a good array of IO options and fan controls. It also pops off allowing access to the upper fan mounts.

There’s even a HDD dock, that’ll fit either full size drives or SSDs. A great inclusion for the price-point.

The right-hand sidepanel is typically bland, while the left-hand one features a side-window (again, very angular), another mesh inset for an optional fan, and a neat little touch – a fold out headset rest. You’re more or less screwed if you like to compute away with your rig to your left, but otherwise it’s handy, and saves you hanging your cans on passing friends, pets or dustbunnies.

The rear panel is cut through with more mesh (even the expansion covers are meshed), and three water-cooling inlets. It’s all quite well made, though the case feet – which fold out and lock into a number of positions – are little too big, blue and over-designed. Locked in place, it kind of looks like your case is wearing giant robot clown shoes.

The internals are much cleaner and simpler, and about our only complaint is a lack of rubber mountings for the PSU. Otherwise, you’ve got great clearance behind the motherboard tray – which has a good-sized CPU cutout – and awesome cable-management. There are cutout cable runs around the tray, and these are all nicely rubber-grommet protected to keep your cables safe and sound.

Drives are secured by two tool-less options: HDDs are kept in slide-out caddies, while a push-button mechanism (admittedly, a little flimsy feeling) keeps ODDs in place. There are more blue highlights on these drive bays, so we suspect that if you can source hardware similarly cerulean you’ll end up with quite a striking view through that side window.

And all of this comes at a pretty competitive price. There’s a lot of plastic construction, of course, so it’s not going to take well to too much movement or bumps, but it looks the part and has some great features.

ThermalTake Chaser Mk-1
4 6
Idiosyncratic, but well made and outfitted.
• Thermaltake: www.thermaltake.com.au
567.9 x 237.0 x 581.6mm (H x W x D); 1x200mm fan (front0, 1x 140mm fan (rear), 1x 200mm fan (top); 4x 5.25in drive bays, 6x3.5in drive bays, one dock; 8x expansion slots; 2x USB 3, 2x USB 2, 1x eSATA, mic & speaker; m-ATX, ATX; 11.6kg; SECC construction

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