Origen AE S21T HTPC Enclosure Review 9

Origen AE S21T HTPC Enclosure Review

(9 User Comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The Origen AE S21T will set you back around $990 US Dollars or 999€s. This is by far the most expensive HTPC available in retail.
  • Incredibly well built
  • Great motorized display
  • Will run 1920 x 1080
  • 12.1 inch touch screen - holy smokes!
  • Incredibly efficient PCB layout and design
  • Quiet, even with all the fans on
  • Can take up to 10 hard drives
  • Most large CPU coolers should be fine
  • Card reader included
  • All fans are rubber mounted and come with mainboard power headers
  • Removable mainboard tray
  • Everything you will need is included
  • Great standby power button
  • White gloves for cleaning and handling
  • Price - certainly not for everyone
  • Incompatible with angled mainboard IDE or SATA headers.
  • The use of a large graphics card will reduce hard drive bays to five.
  • Large PSUs and some CPU coolers will not fit.
  • No application CD included
  • Is a fingerprint magnet
  • No wireless keyboard included
The Origen AE S21T is the most expensive and exclusive HTPC money can buy. It ships with features not found on any other such enclosure. Because of the price you should only expect the best in each area and the case delivers in most cases. The S21T manages to swallow a whooping 10 hard drives, which is already a feat in itself, considering the overall dimensions. This on the other hand limits graphics card and power supply choices, for a case which only deserves the best parts. This is the S21T biggest drawback. Odds are you want to place a modern high-end VGA card inside the system alongside a speedy multi core CPU and loads memory, all topped off by a next generation optical drive. All of these things take a lot of juice, which you may find youself short on, especially if you decide to place two Radeon HD2900 XT in CrossFire with 5 hard drives and a Quad-Core CPU.
All of these shortcomings are easily overlooked when you first turn on the HTPC and drop the motorized display down - your jaw will drop seconds later. It is like looking into a puppy's eyes - you just cannot be anything but smile from ear to ear. The touch screen is responsive, incredibly accurate and can handle 1920 x 1080 - somewhat. Origen has placed the bar for innovation, design and price very high and I doubt anyone will manage to raise it any higher for a long time.
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