Aerocool DS200 Window Edition

Aerocool DS200 Window EditionAerocool certainly knows its way around PC tower cases, but even for a company that has as many hits on its hands as this one does (see also the GT-S, the Strike-X Air, the XPredator X3 and XPredator Cube, et al.), the DS200 is a fantastic enclosure.For starters, the DS200 Window Edition (we received the black variant for this review) is swathed in the soft-touch material that feels like some kind of space-age rubber/leather hybrid. The stuff coats the top, front, and bottom. It frames the sides, as well; only the removable side panels are solely made of steel and acrylic. The one drawback to this material is that it tends to be pretty eager to show fingerprints, but the counterpoint is that it’s easy to wipe the case down and quickly make them disappear.

The exterior also looks pretty smooth, thanks to clean, fluid lines and a front panel that eschews the usual mesh ventilation in favor of a recessed, slotted vent strip that runs along the sides and around the bottom. This is a unique design element, and the effect on the DS200’s overall look is profound. To top it all off, Aerocool built a round LED temperature display and fan control unit into the center of the top panel near the front. The display shows the temp of whatever component you’ve attached the included sensor to (usually the CPU) in either Celsius or Fahrenheit, and the three-channel fan controller’s buttons let you select one of four settings for all connected fans. (The first setting is Off.) Builders who are serious about getting all lights to match will appreciate that the readout can display your info in one of seven colors: red, green, yellow, blue, purple, light blue, or white. You can also turn it off if you prefer a PC that’s not seen and not heard.Another nice feature related to the DS200’s top panel is that removing it reveals enough space above the inner metal frame to mount a 240mm or 280mm radiator. (The case also comes with an alternate steel mesh top panel for those who like to maximize airflow.) This is cool because you can mount the push/exhaust fans just beneath the frame, but the radiator itself doesn’t cramp the case’s interior, which by the way comes with one 140mm intake fan behind the front panel and a single 120mm unit to push hot air out the back. You can add a second 140mm or 120mm fan behind the front panel to increase overall airflow.A look around the rest of the interior reveals all of the amenities you’d expect, including multiple tool-less internal drive bays (some of which are removable), space for graphics cards up to 11.4 inches long (or 16.1 inches with the middle drive cage removed), a motherboard tray that’s ready for cable management and convenient CPU cooler installation, a PSU mount with rubber pads to reduce vibration, and so on.If you like the look of the DS200 but think it needs a little more spice, you’re in luck: As you can guess from the pictures above, Aerocool also offers the case in red. The red version has the same soft-touch coating, the same side panel window, and the same price tag as the black one that we reviewed. Regardless of which color you choose, the Aerocool DS200 will provide you with an attractive, builder-friendly home for your next build. BY CHRIS TRUMBLESpecs: Dimensions: 20.7 x 8.3 x 19.1 inches (HxWxD); Materials: 0.8mm SGCC steel, smooth-touch coating; Motherboard support: Mini-ITX, microATX, ATX; Drive bays: 2 x 5.25-inch external, 5 x 2.5/3.5-inch internal, 2 x 2.5-inch internal; Fans (included): 1 x 140mm front, 1 x 120mm rear; Fans (optional): 1 x 140mm or 2 x 120mm front, 1 x 200mm or 2 x 140mm or 2 x 120mm top; Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, audio I/O

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