By: Jonathan Kwan
August 23, 2008
Here in North America, everything is bigger the better. The bigger the TV, the better. The bigger your computer monitor, the better. The bigger the fridge, the better. That's because big houses here are really that common. But in that regard, "the bigger the house, the better" is almost a universal appeal. That said, you got to see the cars around here (Or USDM cars if you don't live in US or Canada). For almost every new design, cars gets longer and wider by a few inches. Check out the new Honda Accord. Or heck, today's Civic is the size of an Accord a decade back. Then there's computer cases. Is the bigger the better? It seems that full tower cases has garnered more appeal than ever before. I don't recall anyone owning anything more than midtower beige boxes in 2001. Lately, computers with hot running components, half a dozen hard drives, and a couple of graphics cards that extends past the edge of your motherboard, it's not illogical that large full tower eATX cases are landing in the home of many computer enthusiasts to accommodate all those components. Today, we'll take a look at the Tagan A+ Black Pearl WCR case -- an update to their popular A+ Black Pearl chassis, now with pre-drilled holes for water cooling support. Built by Lian Li, the company with a reputation for legendary quality cases, the Tagan A+ Black Pearl looks like a winner on paper. But how does it accomplish its task in real life? We'll have to see about that in our review today.
Our review unit of Tagan's A+ Black Pearl WCR case came in a large retail box from Tagan's American offices. As with pretty much all cases goes, the retail box is a shipping box as well. Using FedEx Ground, everything arrived in great condition -- the case and its accessories inside is nice and secured in position.
The large corrugated cardboard box that houses the full tower Black Pearl WCR during shipping is surprisingly light -- thanks to the lightweight aluminum construction of the case in. Meanwhile, the retail box itself is designed with a black color scheme with a photo of the case in front, and its features/specifications printed onto the surface of the box. No particular striking designs are used in this regard. Maybe they saved all their effort for the case itself instead!?
Clipped between two large and squeaky Styrofoam brackets is the Tagan A+ Black Pearl WCR case itself, with some thin plastic protection films. The Styrofoam brackets are used to ensure that the case stays still inside the box, and protecting it from side impacts -- while the plastic film will help prevent scratches from occurring during shipping. The Tagan A+ Black Pearl WCR all has a window on the side, but unlike the standard non-water cooling edition, this one has a mesh as the side window. The accessories box is included and placed separately. Generally speaking, the retail box's packaging is done decently, and should withstand normal shipping bumps-and-dumps without problems.
Before we move on, let's take a look at the specifications of this product, as obtained from the manufacturer's website and edited by us for clarity:
Amount of 5.25" Bays: 7 x External
Amount of 3.25" Bays: 0 x External, 7 x Internal
Fan (Included): 2
Interfaces: 2 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, 2 x Audio
Supported Mainboards: Extended ATX, ATX, mATX
Net dimension: 11" x 21" x 23"
Gross dimension: 12" x 23" x 24"
Net weight: 27 lb
Gross weight: 30 lb
Packing unit: 1 pc
Customs tariff #: 4250078102106
Country of origin: Taiwan