by Ryan Perry on April 25, 2011 in Mid-Tower
The sub-$100 chassis market is filled to the brim with selection, with the $70 price-point in particular being a total hotspot. AZZA, a relative new-comer to the chassis game, has a wide-variety of models available, with its $70 Toledo 301 being the most recent. Let’s dive right in, and see if other $70 models have a reason to be wary.
Yes, I came down hard on this case on the previous page, but it’s because there are a few things that just make me scratch my head.
On one hand, there are motherboard mounting issues with a lack of built-in standoffs and some quality slip-ups during manufacturing. The cable management clearance issues can be overlooked, but not the clearance issues with mounting solid-state drives or alignment issues with the power supply.
It’s unclear whether or not our review sample simply had bad fans, but the ones included were severely underpowered. If this is the way the fans should operate, users will need to make the choice of cooling versus sound.
On the other hand, the Toledo 301 is built like a tank. It’s easily one of the most solid cases that I have used. It also has one of the best paint jobs I have seen in a while, with the paint evenly applied inside and out, and it resists fingerprints almost entirely thanks to the mottled texture.
There is also room for radiators up to 240mm long and a good amount of drive bays for future expansion. I was also surprised by the sturdiness of the locking mechanism for the 5.25″ drive bays. From an aesthetic standpoint, those who like a little bit of flash can have that as well, although the front and top vents may be an acquired taste.
Seeing how the Toledo 301 occupies the very crowded ~$70 price range, there are other cases out there that feature more for less while getting just about everything right. Things that I would like to see included are filters on the mesh drive covers, bottom fan area and power supply intake. Rubber feet on the bottom would be nice as well but the biggest thing would be the inclusion of either built-in motherboard standoffs or pre-drilled holes and included standoffs so that micro-ATX motherboards can be properly secured.
With better options out there for a case of this price range, it’s hard, if not impossible, to recommend the Toledo 301. It has some perks, but they unfortunately don’t overshadow the faults.
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