Moneual Lab MonCaso 972 HTPC CaseMakaveli - July 20, 2008
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The Moneual Lab MonCaso 972 is constructed of aluminum and weighs a good 16.6 pounds without anything installed. On the front left side of the case, you'll find a power button and a space for the HDD LED light to blink and an infrared sensor. On the right side, you'll find ten buttons and a volume knob. On the first row of buttons, from right to left, you'll find "MCE" (Launches Media Center Application), "App. Exit", "Back", up arrow, and "Enter". The second row has "Start", "Menu", left arrow, down arrow, and right arrow. Wait, that's not all! If you pull down the flap below the LCD screen, you'll expose a microphone jack, headphone jack, IEEE 1394 port, and a USB 2.0 port. The bottom right side is where you'll find the multi-card reader which comes in handy a lot.
Obviously, one of the main features of this case is the 7" LCD touch screen on the front of the case. It's protected by plastic so that it doesn't get scratched during shipping. Right below the LCD screen is a drive bay for your optical drive and you'll find the open button right under the bay. I cannot wait to see how this LCD screen looks and works! The back of the case features a standard ATX power supply and I/O shield sections for the designated parts to be installed. Also, you'll find 7 expansion slots, but one has a VGA cable protruding from it. The top of the case has two fan vents that are strategically placed - one above where your video card is and one above your CPU.
The sides of the case are identical and they have vents to allow hot air to escape from the case as well as cool air to taken into the case to cool down the components. Since this HTPC is likely to be on alot, the more vents and air ducts, the better. I'm definitely glad to see huge vents like this on either side because this machine will be on almost 24/7 in my place.
Rarely do you see vents on the bottom of the case but with this particular HTPC, Moneual put two vents on the bottom. Both are under each of the hard drive racks, which is excellent placement, since hard drives do get quite hot! Also, the bottom of the case has four rubber feet to keep the case securely in place while it's in use.
Now that we've examined the outside of the case, let's get a closer look at what's inside.