Once out of its plastic coverings the Guardian really looks good. All the shiny parts glimmer in the light and give weird reflections when you look into them.
Spot the Foot – Ed.
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The window onto your hardware is well designed so as to give you a good view into your computer but still look sleek. The fan slap bang in the middle of it is good or bad depending on your view. It does obscure the view of your computer but when turned on gives a hypnotic blue light – I’ll leave it up to you to decide on blue neon’s or tech-porn.
It’s also important to mention that the simple LCD temperature display on this case is a thing of beauty – looking something like a weird alien head (or is that just me).
Even the “mouth” at the bottom of the case door looks good, and hap hazard grills usually bring down a case’s aesthetics.
Looks aside the Guardian has some nice practical features, for example holes for water cooling tubes in the back and replaceable PCI slot covers.
Another feature are the screw-less mounting devices for your various drives, these save masses of time both in installation and taking things out. I particularly like the way you can mount hard drives in seconds and they are facing out towards you. In most cases the drives face away from you and are awkward to plug in.
One problem which strikes me – and probably many other people – is that once you touch the case it seems very disappointing compared to its looks. What I mean by that is that the windowed side panel is incredibly flimsy. In my case one of the plastic windows fell out when I touched it. It was easily fixable but didn’t do much for my view of the case. Other things feel plasticy, for example the screw-less devices have a lock which is basically a plastic blob that you push down to secure the drive in place. These feel like they will break after a few uses and don’t give you much confidence in mounting sensitive electrical equipment in a metal cage – which in my case is a few feet off the floor.