We will now give you a brief summary on each of the tested system cases in the order of their appearance in this review.
The Chenbro PC78131 is obviously not meant for building a high-performance configuration or a high-capacity file server. In fact, our configuration is the best that this system case can support in terms of power consumption with the bundled power supply. We guess an Intel Atom or AMD Brazos platform would be the most appropriate for it. Considering that the PC78131 is designed to accommodate only one 2.5-inch drive, the configuration you can assemble in it is going to be limited in the multimedia aspect. On the other hand, if you do not plan to run anything heavier than office applications and web-browsers and your multimedia collection is limited in size, this model can be a good choice for reasonable money.
The other Chenbro, ES34169, is a very interesting product for a very specific application. Being compact, it provides broad opportunities for building a large disk subsystem. It has four 3.5-inch disk bays with hot swap capability, so you can have a high-capacity file-server whereas an internal 2.5-inch drive can be used as a system disk. So, this product is going to be perfect as home multimedia storage combined with a player and browser. The downside is that the 70mm exhaust fans are too noisy and the price is too high (two or three times as high as that of the other tested products).
The junior Lian Li model can accommodate one 2.5-inch and one 3.5-inch disk and is compatible with standard desktop components which are cheaper and more available than slim optical drives and other exotic devices. It is comparable to the Chenbro PC78131 in price (but you have to additionally purchase a power supply for the Lian Li), offers better expansion opportunities and has a prettier exterior. However, its dimensions have grown up as the consequence of its support for standard components and it is more difficult to assemble. It’s up to you to decide which features are more important to you.
Finally, the Lian Li PC-Q11 is a system case that is obviously meant to be a replacement for a conventional full-size desktop PC capable of running modern video games (except that it cannot match systems with CrossFireX or SLI configurations built out of top-end graphics cards). Its expansion opportunities are close to those of ATX system cases. It’s got a restrained exterior design and its price is reasonable. We can also name a couple of downsides. It is not very easy to assemble a PC configuration in the PC-Q11 and its ventilation is far from effective despite its rather large cooling fan. On the other hand, you can put up with the difficult assembly if you do it just once whereas its ventilation should suffice for standard operation mode. A compact computer is not meant for hardcore overclockers anyway.