MoDT Mismatch: AOpen i945GTt-VFA & Silverstone LC-12

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The target market for the LaScala LC-12 is tiny. Most mini-ITX boards are intended for commercial or integrated environments, yet here is a mini-ITX case that is aimed squarely at the consumer market. It's brushed aluminum finish makes it look a an integrated amplifier from the 80's, and some care has been put into making it visually appealing. And, with a retail price above US$100, it needs to be a showpiece to be worth the price.

It's narrow width makes it look taller than it actually is: Just under four inches tall.

FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS: Silverstone LC-12 (from Silverstone's web site)
Compact case fits anywhere
The biggest selling point of anything mini-ITX.
Accommodates full size hard drive
Perhaps this is addressed at the home theater market?
Discreet styling for all applications
Easy to access front ports
Standard on larger case, we're glad to see it here.

SPECIFICATIONS: Silverstone LC-12 (from Silverstone's web site)
Aluminum front panel, 1.0mm aluminum body
Black or Silver
Drive Bays
External: Slim Optical x 1
lnternal: 3.5” x 1
Cooling System
Top and side panel vents
Expansion Slots
Front I/O Port
- USB2.0 port x 2
- 1394 Firewire x 1
- Earphone jack x 1
- MIC x 1
Power Supply
60W DC to DC adapter
Net Weight
1.3 kg
184 mm (W) x 97 mm (H) x 288 mm (D)

A quick look at Silverstone's product page reveals a few important details:

  • There is room for one full sized hard drive...
  • ...but only a half-height laptop optical drive.
  • There are no expansion slots.
  • A 60W power brick powers a fanless DC power supply.

One other detail that is not mentioned is the fact that there is no cover for the optical drive bay. This is a huge problem for the case's aesthetics, since it means that if an optical drive is not used, there is a gaping hole in the front panel. And, even if an optical drive is used, chances are pretty slim that the drive will match the aluminum finish. Users who care for looks are strongly advised to go for the black version, since it's not too difficult to find black optical drives (although the slim form factor doesn't allow for a lot of choice).

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