Lian Li PC-V1000b Plus
When buying a relatively fragile, well finished and fairly expensive case it goes without saying that packaging and protection from the warehouse to your door is of the utmost priority. Luckily several manufacturers have hit upon a method that we have seen for quite a while now which is the method used here.
The box, as you can see, is fairly straight forward to look at. Absolutely no pictures or specifications, just a straight forward Lian Li logo, the name of the case and a statement of the cases ISO 9001 status.
The protection is in the form of two large polystyrene inserts, securing the case several inches away from the actual cardboard. Then protecting against any scratches and abrasions is a fairly thick plastic bag. Loose in the box is a sheet with detailed instructions for fitting and using the case, along with a Lian Li brochure displaying all their other products.
This is one front where most would be surprised if a Lian Li didn't excel. The use of simple, well finished materials throughout along with clean and minimalist designs has always been a winner. This case is for me no exception to the trend, I quite like the 'cheese grater' front and smooth edges. I don't get the feeling that everyone else will however, I don't mean that in any negative way whatsoever, I say it mainly on the basis that this case is indeed very unique in its styling and a fair bit detached from Lian Li's neutral designs.
Whatever your tastes however, there's no denying the obvious build quality. Visible from the moment you take it out of its protective bag, the finish on the outside of the case make it clear where Lian Li have earned their reputation for quality from.
The front of the case sports 5 expansion bays, one equipped with a floppy drive fascia and another with a 'stealth' optical dive bezel. Unfortunately for those not intending to use a floppy drive there are no addition bezel plates included (flapped or blank). So you'll be looking at buying another if you've not got an LCD screen or fan controller to occupy it with. Here I did come across something I've not seen on any new case before. The opening flap of the top bezel had a sort of residue or powder clinging to the groves made by the brushing effect. The plate needed a good rubbing with a wet microfiber cloth to actually remove whatever it was.
Further down we find the front I/O panel, accommodating the usual hot-pluggable ports for USB, audio in and out and a Firewire port.
A nice finishing touch to the front is the stainless steel vandal proof style switch positioned right under the bottom drive bay, above the blue power LED and red HDD LED.
The side panels of the V1000 are slight step up in thickness in comparison to the chassis. The metal on the chassis measures in at 1mm thick while the side panels are another millimeter thicker. While this doesn't sound much it really does add some weight to them, giving them a real feel of sturdiness and quality. The edges of the panels are slightly serrated, which I assume is in order to increase grip when removing and handling them.
In place of a perspex panel or punched-out fan grill Lian Li have gone for a small mesh vent. Pressed flush with the outer surface the vent is fairly inconspicuous and will serve to both aid cooling and make later modification to the side panels (such as the addition of a window) a bit easier.
The underside of the case features more of the perforated effect seen all over the case but in smaller blocks. This should greatly aid the cooling of the PSU and HDD areas.
One thing that I think deserves a mention (which you can see above) is the wheel system. The well ventilated underside of the case is adorned with quite an attractive pair of wheels constructed entirely (apart from the sleeve bearings) from metal. The rear axle is fitted with a handy break system to stop the case rolling around when unattended or being worked on.
The back of the case is nothing but further testament to the quality of whats gone into the construction of the case.