A Closer Look - Inside
Both side panels can be easily removed by unscrewing the thumb screws. In addition to that, the front of the PC-A7010 can be taken off by simply pulling on the panel. It is held in place by a unique clipping mechanism, which works flawlessly. The front has no play when installed on the case body. The same vertical bar we have seen in recent high-end cases from Lian Li, can be found within the chassis. It is used to further secure large add-in cards like graphic cards.
You will find two dust guards under the front panel. These cover the intake fans and may be removed for cleaning. Another nice feature is the small fan controller with the letters "L M H" punched into it. These stand for low, medium & high. Lian Li has set it to medium by default.
Moving our focus into the A7010, let us start with one of the greatest feature - the hard drive bays. The case can take a total of 10 hard drives. Seven of these bays have a SATA backplate - grouped in three and four respectively. This means that you may truly hot-swap your drives and it also reduces the cable mess. Both these backplated areas are wedged between fans which pull air over the drives, into the case. One of the inner units also has pastic rails to slide the end of large add-in cards into. So such parts are secured in four different ways within the A7010: The clip on the mainboard, the screw on the rear, the plastic holder on the vertical bar and this rail - impressive.
The rear of the SATA backplate looks as expected. You connect your SATA cables here and use a single Molex power connector to deliver power to all drives on the backplate. Let's quickly look at the inner workings of the fan controller, which is located right above the hard drive backplate within the front of the case. It has three fan headers, but Lian Li has provided splitters so you may connect all fans within the chassis to this unit. After all, the PC-A7010 has a whooping six 120mm fans right out of the box - full house!
The other two areas used for drives are the external drive bays and the additional three piece hard drive cage. Both are not as fully featured and still require screws to hold the drives in place. The hard drive cage is also cooled by a 120 mm fan. This means that all hard drive bays are actively cooled.
After all that excitement, let's take a look at the rear. The afore mentioned PSU bay on the bottom has a fine air vent for the large fan within the power supply. There are two foam linings to stop any vibrations from reaching the chassis itself. Above that are the seven standard expansion slots for the mainboard. Each cover is secured by a thumb screw and may be reused at a later point. The rear fan still comes with the crude Lian Li exclusive air grill. While this is a unique feature to the case manufacturer, it would be nice to see a traditional steel grill instead, as it allows for greater air flow, is certainly cheaper and does not use as much materials.