A closer Look
Once the case was unpacked, the first thing that one notices are the missing external 3.5 inch drive bays. While that is not such a big deal, as there are four 5.25 inch drive bays, it would have been nice if at least one were included. As you will see in the following pictures, there should have been enough space, if Lian Li would have moved the front fan down one cm. If you are planning to use a 3.5 inch floppy or card reader with the case, make sure and order the MF-515B converter kit as well. The top of the case houses the two USB ports, one Firewire and microphone/headphone jacks. The middle also has a cutout for a 8 cm fan that remains unused. You can add a fan of your choice into that location.
The right side of the case had two large grills punched into the case. The bottom one is for the PSU while the top one is for the 12 cm case fan. I placed the case next to a Kingwin BK-424 middle tower case to show how small the Lian Li case is.
The back of the case is quite unusual. The mainboard is installed upside down, with the power supply being placed on the bottom left of the back. That may make the use of a high CPU cooler impossible. Nonetheless, considering the size of the case, there had to be some trade-offs. You can still use a large cooler, just make sure it is not higher than a Thermaltake Blue Orb 2, which just fits fine. Each bracket is covered by a mirror finish aluminum cover. A very nice touch. The side panels and the fan construction are secured with thumb screws. The panels themselves have small outward bends toward the top of the back, which makes removing the panels very easy. A loop for a lock is included on the left side of the back.
The front of the case is held in place by plastic clips, which come off quite easily, but hold the front completely firm. The drive bay covers are quite hard to take out, considering they are not held into place by any screws. The covers themselves are made out of a thinner sheet of aluminum, but are very sturdy. The front fan is covered by a fine wire mesh in black. Note the power and reset button, they are not mechanical, but soldered on a piece of PCB. Once the side panel was taken off, the fan construction came to light. The front I/O cables are way to long for such a case. They could easily fit a normal mid tower, if not a big tower. The power/reset cables were quite short, so I was not able to play around with routing them around, while installing everything.
The fan construction is made completely out of aluminum as well. The 12 cm fan can be moved to the left or right, letting the user choose where to exhaust the air out of the case. The fan connector has a mainboard header, but comes with a Molex adapter. This was the case for the front fan as well. The fan construction has a thin "tunnel" toward the outside, to guide the hot air out. If you let your imagination play a bit, you could maybe use that side for a 12cm radiator for water cooling, instead of that tunnel. Also a very useful and nice addition.
The expansion slots in the back are screwed in individually by normal screws. More expensive Lian Li cases (especially the PC-V Series) use thumb screws here as well. While that may have been a nice touch, considering the price of the case, this short coming can be overlooked, as these covers are very accessible. The cables are held in place by plastic pieces which can be opened by twisting the two plastic arms out. They can even be easily removed and placed in different locations toward the front of the case.