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There are three exposed 5.25" bays, and one exposed 3.5" bay. A
nice touch is that the 3.5" bay cover doesn't look like a cover at all,
which is nice if you're like me and have abandoned the floppy drive altogether.
As you can see, the silver fronted optical drive looks right at home.
The bottom half of the bezel is dominated by a huge area of aluminum mesh, broken only by the port for the front mounted USB 2.0, audio, and firewire connectors.
The ports are covered by a little door, which happens to be the one weak
point about the front bezel. Well, actually, the door is fine, I like having
a door to keep dust out of the ports, the latch is the issue. It appears to
have a serious aversion to remaining closed. The slightest jiggle of the case
and the door flops back open. For a case where the rest of the design is so
well thought-out, this latch is entirely too wimpy. I ended up just popping
the door completely off.
The first thing that stands out when looking at the rear of the FK-330 is
the 120mm fan opening. The grill itself is composed of stamped circular holes,
with very narrow spaces in between them. It's one of the best stamped fan
grills I've seen on a case. Some people may choose to cut it out, but that's
not likely to give any cooling or noise advantage because it is already so
open. (Editor's Note: The grill holes are smaller than in
the Antec Sonata or SLK3700BQE, but overall openness appears the same.)
One thing I noticed is the lack of standard screws holding the sides on the
case on. The right side has no screws showing on the back plane at all, and
the ones on the left are odd little torx/slot combinations. Why the left side
doesn't show screws we'll get to shortly. The use of nonstandard screws on
the left demonstrates Fong Kai's design intention that the left panel does
not need to be removed for most installations. That is due to their nearly
tool-less interior design, which we will also get to shortly.
NOTE: At least one online reviewer has complained about the right
side being non-removable. It is removable, and pretty easily
at that. The trick is that it has to be pulled upwards after the screws are
removed, not backwards as with most case sides. (I have a hilarious mental
image of some reviewer, case clutched between his knees, pulling backwards
with all his might, trying to get the side off.) The right panel on mine has
been off more than once, with no grunting or swearing required.
Removable Left Panel
And now, one of my favorite parts of the whole case: The Door. The left side is latched at the top, with the handle recessed into the panel itself. Lifting the handle causes the panel to come free, and it can either pivot from the bottom, or you can lift it clear.
Image deliberately lightened with Photoshop so you can see the detail.
The mechanism is a bar latch that extends the whole width of the panel and
engages at four points It works easily, smoothly and securely. It feels more
like the latch for a piece of quality cabinetry or industrial equipment than
for a computer case. (Editor's aside: Jeff of FKI USA says that
the inspiration for this latch and door design came from the likes of luxury
cars like the Lexus, so Russ is not far off.)
Part the of reason for the solidity of the latch, as well as the case's general
heft, can seen on the inside of the removable panel. Rather than being a single
sheet of steel, the panel is reinforced by the addition of another layer of
steel welded to it on the inside, as shown below. This also acts as a mass
dampener, reducing the possibility of panel resonance. (Note to Fong-Kai:
The designers responsible for this latch should have a go at revising the
latch on the front bezel ports cover!)
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