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Lian Li O11 AIR MINI

Darksaber

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The Lian Li O11 Air Mini is not simply a vented version of the original O11 Dynamic Mini. Instead, Lian Li has taken the opportunity to tweak the case to offer better PSU support, more storage options, and a wider body for greater radiator support. All this makes the new Lian Li O11 Air Mini somewhat of a successor in many ways.

Show full review
 
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That was quite an interesting read. It seems to share a lot less in common with the standard O11 Air than I had imagined, the minor improvements in the internal design make for an easier case to build on. Hoping they release a XL variant soon, I really like my O11 Air but it is a bit cramped in there, my 1300 G2 barely fit (the column that houses half the SSDs and hides all the wiring is mechanically awful) and wiring all the fans certainly wasn't the easiest, though the result was fantastic.
 
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Reminds me of an old case I owned the antec P50. Thats was a great case in it's day, I'm sure this case is even better.
 
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Disappointed, they are milking every variation of their well praised case, but this is too much mesh for Lian-Li, perhaps they should release it under their sub brand, lancool.
 
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Great review. I own the O11 Dynamic Mini. Decided to use as a HTPC, which is somewhat visible in my living room, and I have to say I love the case. It gets the power supply and all that goes with it out of the way to give your rig a clean, pleasing look. If I change my desktop case in the future I would again go with this line that Lian Li has designed so well.
 
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The Optional accessory, the RB-001, says in the picture that this case can fit a 360mm radiator? Not much mentioned about this in the review. Do you think it would be possible? Or would the extra space for the fittings be an issue?
 
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This once again seems like a fantastic case. Lian-Li have been hitting them out of the park recently and I know @Darksaber has to try and find negative points to be impartial and objective but let's look at the downsides without an "impartial reviewer" hat on:
  • 280 mm radiator in the top only really possible with an mATX or smaller motherboard
  • No more mounting plates for reservoirs or pumps included
These are problems for water cooling, and if you want to watercool, don't buy the AIR COOLING SPECIFIC variant, duh! Lian-Li make plenty of radiator-friendly cases just for water cooling folk.
  • HDD cage in the rear no longer hot-swappable
Hot-swappable hard drives? I've never once hot-swapped a hard drive that wasn't in either a datacenter or a server rack. In a tempered glass vanity case with no external drive bays, hot-swappable hard drives are as laughable as the Texas ivermectin horse-dewormer debacle. Yeah, you could hot-swap the disks, but who unscrews their tempered glass case while the PC is running to change hard drive on the regular? Nobody. That's who.

I don't need a new case for my HTPC build but I'm resisting the impulse-buy temptation.
 
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I will be rebuilding our HTPC using this case. I have one small reservation: the noise levels. I am sure I can fix that.
 
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How much space is there between the HDD cage at the back and the side panel? Would a slim 15mm fan fit there? (one of the criticism I read on the o11 series is the hdd cage runs a bit toasty, since the case is larger to fit an atx psu I think it could be possible)


  • HDD cage in the rear no longer hot-swappable
Hot-swappable hard drives? I've never once hot-swapped a hard drive that wasn't in either a datacenter or a server rack. In a tempered glass vanity case with no external drive bays, hot-swappable hard drives are as laughable as the Texas ivermectin horse-dewormer debacle. Yeah, you could hot-swap the disks, but who unscrews their tempered glass case while the PC is running to change hard drive on the regular? Nobody. That's who.

You don't need to take the glass off to access the HDDs, you can simply open the cage through the back (just like a drive bay). Not really necessary but it would be one of those quality of life things, since less and less people are using HDD anyway it's better for it to not have it and be cheaper as a consequence. Besides, I think the only case that actually came with the hot swap pcb were the O11D XL and ROG and they didn't sell the board seperately so they might just have gotten tired of people asking to buy it so they removed the possibility entirely :D
 

thestryker6

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I'm hoping they do a redesign of the regular AIR based on this with the new mesh and no paneling. This is exactly the airflow design I've been looking for, but I'm looking for 360mm on the side mount.
 
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You don't need to take the glass off to access the HDDs, you can simply open the cage through the back (just like a drive bay). Not really necessary but it would be one of those quality of life things, since less and less people are using HDD anyway it's better for it to not have it and be cheaper as a consequence. Besides, I think the only case that actually came with the hot swap pcb were the O11D XL and ROG and they didn't sell the board seperately so they might just have gotten tired of people asking to buy it so they removed the possibility entirely :D
Oh right, I didn't realise there were optional panels you could buy for the O11D that made them externally-accessible.

I'm guessing they weren't popular and since LL/Asus aren't charities I suspect they cost a good fraction of what a decent, desk-mounted, front-facing USB3/eSATA drive dock costs anyway. As I said, almost nobody hot-swaps hard drives on consumer machines any more but if I had to I'd definitely not want to have crawl under a desk, slide the whole PC forward to gain access, and use a torch & screwdriver amid a rats nest of cabling when there is a large market of convienient, affordable, compact, tidy, desktop dock alternatives in a multitude of different sizes, orientations, and form factors.
 
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Any mini case that caters for proper, cheap storage (i.e spinning rust) gets my approval.

Are the specs right though?

Drive Bays:4x Internal 2.5/3.5"
2x Internal 2.5"

I'm clearly being stupid, where do you install an additional 2x 3.5" drives?
 

bob3002

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Any mini case that caters for proper, cheap storage (i.e spinning rust) gets my approval.

Are the specs right though?

Drive Bays:4x Internal 2.5/3.5"
2x Internal 2.5"

I'm clearly being stupid, where do you install an additional 2x 3.5" drives?
There's space for two 2.5''/3.5'' drives in the rear cage above the PSU, and another two drives on the removable side plates (where fans go on the non-air variant). Look at where the SATA SSD is installed in the test system.

The plate that covers the cables only supports 2x 2.5'' drives.
 
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I'm hoping they do a redesign of the regular AIR based on this with the new mesh and no paneling. This is exactly the airflow design I've been looking for, but I'm looking for 360mm on the side mount.

Honestly, most if not all 360mm solutions should fit on the Air's side mount as is (at least I have 3 fans installed there already, as well as 3 on the bottom, 3 on the front, and a 360 mm AIO + 3 fans on the top, it's a proper hurricane inside my case), but the greatly improved cable management and the additional vents are rather interesting. Maybe a XL trim based on this design... that would be amazing.
 

thestryker6

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Honestly, most if not all 360mm solutions should fit on the Air's side mount as is (at least I have 3 fans installed there already, as well as 3 on the bottom, 3 on the front, and a 360 mm AIO + 3 fans on the top, it's a proper hurricane inside my case), but the greatly improved cable management and the additional vents are rather interesting. Maybe a XL trim based on this design... that would be amazing.
Yeah the AIR is the right size I meant I want the AIR mini mesh and lack of paneling, but in the regular o11/AIR form factor. They may have changed the mesh in the regular AIR since it was introduced, but the original mesh was a mess for air flow and the paneling (top/side/front) definitely hinders air movement a lot more than the all mesh design on the AIR mini.
 
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Yeah the AIR is the right size I meant I want the AIR mini mesh and lack of paneling, but in the regular o11/AIR form factor. They may have changed the mesh in the regular AIR since it was introduced, but the original mesh was a mess for air flow and the paneling (top/side/front) definitely hinders air movement a lot more than the all mesh design on the AIR mini.

Both the air and air mini have some drawbacks and surprisingly on the same area - air. The original had those awful filters and plastic accents, the new one instead of a proper filter has the mesh on the panel it self, not as effective as proper filter but at least not as bad airflow wise.

When I was considering the original air 2 years ago I found some front panels like this and this to mod the non air o11 dynamic. Rather expensive but looked cool and would solve one of the issues with the original air (wouldn't solve the low clearance for tower coolers though).
 
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So, this is between the Crystal 280x and 680x, but with less glass? Not bad, we need a choise of more cases with that layout.
 
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I still have the O11D (Razer ED - yeah. I know.... but it was on offer and cheaper than the regular O11D so worth it ^^ ) and wanted to get the "Snow Editon" of the Mini for my wifes PC (she REQUESTED everything in white and pink *sigh* :D ) until I saw the SFX-requirement, which I totally didn't get (the "Mini" isn't THAT mini that a regular PSU wouldn't have fit...). Hope to see a white-edition of this one, too, so I can finally rebuild my wifes PC in a "finally good" case compared to what she has now.

I'd also w ould have loved to see comparison-numbers for noise&heat between O11-AIR, O11D-Mini and the "classic O11D" (not the "big" version - the regular / "old" O11D )
 
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