by William Kelley on November 7, 2007 in Mid-Tower
Gigabyte is well aware that consumers yearning for a quiet PC don’t want to give up great looks and functionality. They prove this with their iSOLO 210. In addition to the case’s aesthetics, it also turns out to have very impressive construction, especially considering its low price point.
The Interior of the iSOLO is pretty much as one would expect. A single 120MM exhaust fan compliments a single 120MM intake fan tucked neatly behind the hard drive cage. Gigabyte decided to turn the hard drive cage 90 degrees to allow more space for the motherboard and PCI cards. The only minor drawbacks are that the intake fan must blow through and around the cage, and there was insufficient room to install the hard drives in reverse for those that like to really hide their cables. The tool less locks for the 5 ¼ and 3 ½ drive bays work very well and lock the drives in solidly.
The PCI slots have locking plastic clips as well. There are screw holes for the PCI slots if you prefer a mechanical mount for your add in PCI cards. While this is a good idea, I did have some issues with the clips that I will demonstrate later on.
Strangely, there is only one connection to the motherboard to power up the PC. There is no reset button and no HDD activity light on the case. There are also connections for the front panel USB and Firewire port as well as the audio connection which does offer either HD or AC97 style connection.
While the case does have a glowing blue front panel which uses a 4 pin molex connector, it also has a power button that lights up. This is the only lighting on the case.
One very important thing I noted about the iSOLO that I feel must be reported is the quality of the case itself. I, as well as every PC builder, cannot stand a case with sharp edges. No matter what I try, it seems that every PC I build has it in its heart to make me bleed. Gigabyte went above and beyond on the iSOLO as I could not find a sharp edge anywhere, even in places most people will NOT stick their fingers. Edges were either double rolled or smooth and dull. Even the side panels were of heavier-than-normal gauge metal with the edges rolled.
This case does not feel tinny in the least and the side panels have no perceivable flex. Even the panel with the large cutout for the screening feels solid. Honestly, after really looking at how this case was built, I feel this is the first case in this price point I have ever come across with this level of build quality. Gigabyte should be commended for not skimping on the steel whereas it seems many companies are just to save a few bucks.
And last but not least, here’s a quick shot of the included hardware and various hold downs included with the case. I love the little touch of the soft cloth pad to wipe the dust off the case.
Time to put this case through its paces and build it up.