Nearly every component of a computer is designed to go into a case. There have been plain boring cases built for the last 30 or years, with very few manufacturers taking the time to make their computers look as appealing as their performance. A few exceptions pop into mind: Apple, Alienware, and well…those are really the only two that come to mind easily. See what I mean? Most DIY enthusiasts try to get a case that will try to look good as well as be serviceable; maybe paint it, or cut a hole somewhere, or go all-out and build their own case from scratch. An area that has been very popular is to put a see-through window on the case, so you can look at all of those hundreds of dollars in hardware put to good use. A few years ago, you really had to cut your own hole using tools, but those days are gone my friends, because now there is…The Aluminus!
Designed by Ultra, commonly known for their power supply units, the Aluminus is a new effort to incorporate an all aluminum body with ease of installation, good looks, utility, and a very nice pre-installed window (Suggested price is $99.99). Why made of aluminum, you may wonder? Most cases are made of steel, but the idea of aluminum is that it is much lighter, and disperses heat more efficiently, theoretically helping the insides keep cooler. Over the years it has been seen through several trials that the aluminum by itself doesn’t substantially affect the computer’s interior heat, but it sure has been useful for making a lighter, more portable computer. Now aluminum is not as strong as steel, so there will be more “flex” to this case, but if the case is well-designed, there should be no fears of a fragile build.
So what has Ultra given us with the Aluminus? The case comes in a fairly strong cardboard box with very good protection molded Styrofoam padding. Our unit was free of bends, dings, or other blemishes. The box itself lists the components that await us on the inside. On the exterior, the case looks very much like a Chenming case (or the old Alienware cases), quite attractive and elegant in its functionality. What you will also receive is a large assortment of screws, a front-port USB/IEEE 1394/audio adapter, and rails for the “tool-less” hard disk and optical drive features. Strangely, there are no fans included with the case, although there is room designed for two huge 12cm fans. I actually look at this positively, as it leaves the fan options up to me.