- Steel ATX Mini Tower
- 3 x 5.25" Drive Bays
- 4 x 3.5" Bays (2 hidden, 2 exposed)
- 300W Codegen PSU
- 2 x Fan Attachments (front and rear, no fans supplied)
- 2 x USB, Mic and Spkr sockets in front flip-down compartment
Sample Supplied By; Kustom PCs
Cost; £75 inc. VAT
There is a huge demand for stylish computer cases in the market at the moment, people are starting to realise that they don't have to make do with the old beige monsters we all love to hate. Coolermaster and Lian Li have shown themselves to be more than up to the challenge of making beautiful cases with their aluminium designs but from £150 up these are out of range of many. However there is still a gap at the lower end of the price scale which manufacturers are starting to recognise and tap into.........
It might just be me getting used to my PC 70 but the first thing that struck me about the Ellg on seeing the box was its size, it looked tiny!!
Anyway I soon got on to the important part, getting at the thing...
My first impressions of it were pretty favourable to be honest, I'd been expecting a nasty steel finish and tacky plastic but for the most part it felt a lot classier than that. One thing I particularly liked is the use of curves and other little details to break up the large areas, for example the arched top or the round buttons ....
I was also impressed by their choice of colours, the black and silver really sit well together and help the case look better still.
Here we have the 5.25" drive bays, you only get two blanking plates so if you were planning on stealthing them you'd have a bit of a problem. I do quite like how the floppy drive slot is moulded into the case however.
The power and HDD LEDs are mounted between the power and reset buttons, the power is the larger one (you might want to swap them around though if you're a Windows user!!). One thing that didn't impress me much here though was the tactility of the power button, both it and the chassis it sits are made of plastic and there was quite a scratchy, restrictive motion when pressing it that could get frustrating given how much of a feature it is. You can also see the drop down cover at the bottom.
Front USB ports are becoming more and more popular it seems as devices take advantage of them so its nice to see they haven't been overlooked here. It would have been better to see a continuation of the silver to the flap though as the inside is white plastic. A small detail but these, as the saying goes, definitely count.
The back is pretty much as standard for a case of this size, one thing I do like though is the fact that they use thumbscrews as standard making it a lot easier to get inside. Although there is an 80mm fan attachment position on the back no fan is supplied.
The inside isn't huge but there is very little that isn't necessary so it doesn't feel particularly cluttered. You can see the plugs for the sockets on the front which need to be taken through the back and plugged in although there is plenty of cable with which to do this. The profiling of the front can also be seen adding to the uniqueness of this case.
The side panels feel solid and the paint finish is top notch. Fancy some extra cooling? Not a bad idea this, doesn't look too bad either.....!!
The drive bay area is a bit of a mess though, it looks (and feels) a bit rickety, however with the drives installed the extra support improves the situation. Still I'd rather a little more steel had been used to make sure the drives were safe, snug and secure...You can also see the second fan fixing at the bottom but like the other no fan is included.
A fat, juicy Codegen 300w PSU is bundled however, as more systems are needing this much power its nice to see they havent cut back by putting one of a lower rating in.
Another little detail I would have liked to see is a removable motherboard tray, it is such a blessing to be able to build a computer outside of a computer and then move it in especially when space is at a premium.
My final problem is again very small but I must say I do like removable blanking plates on the PCI slots although you do get one in the accessories bag. These kind of things are becoming standard on many newer cases so its odd not to see it here.
The ellg is a really nice size, you can see its relatively small when compared to the Lian Li PC 70 and Globawin 802 (customised) and how the proportions are just right.
I think its safe to say the ellg isn't going to set the world on fire, the features it offers are only slightly above average at best with things like the fixed motherboard tray and dodgy power button letting it down. Where this case is really going to grab you though is in the looks department, in comparison to most alternatives in this price bracket it really does stand out. You could easily have your mates round or take it to a LAN party and not feel at all embarrassed by it and indeed could even feel proud. Its also absolutely unique, rather than being a variation of the same design as most cases are the ellg is pretty radical, in particular the use of alternative colours is hugely in its favour and the art deco style buttons/LEDs finish it off really well. A lot of thought has obviously gone into the appearance and I think it shows its just a shame they didn't spend as long on the functionality side of things in my opinion. If your not too worried about some of the smaller details and aren't afraid of a bit of plastic then this case is perfect for you.
When I first got my mits on this case I was quite impressed, fairly light, nice and compact (while not skimping on the 5.25"s or fan holes) and until you inspect it more closely it looks very very nice indeed. I still think, as I did when I first saw it, that the biggest thing this case has going for it is the uniqueness factor; It directly competes with the likes of the Globalwin and the Dragon, and I think the fact that every other Jo Average doesn't own this case is to it's advantage. If we continue our comparisons with cases in the same price bracket (remembering to include the 300W PSU's cost) then the Ellg does start to look less favourable, and it's main let down for me is it's build quality - that power button really does feel quite dreadful! All is not sour though, this case has an awful lot of potential and most of my issues with it could be addressed with a little modding :o) Add a nice power button, paint the back of the front cable flap, put some fans in there (no fans supplied! Shocking!!), a window (I really do think a window would suit this baby) and maybe some lighting and you would have a case to compete with almost any!
Thanks to Graeme and Thomas at Kustom PCs for the sample.