I spent several occasions speaking with customer service. This the first impression people have of your company and my impression was not a good experience. When the phone initially is picked up, a human greets you and then puts you through to the correct department. It was nice to hear a human on the other end but some of our wait times after the redirect were far too long, especially when we made purchase-inquiry calls.
On two different occasions, I went through the loop of rings for over 20 minutes. One occasion I got the main operator three times before getting through to someone. This is clearly unacceptable. As the saying goes, you marry the girl, you marry the family. If the customer service leaves you with a bad experience, why would you ever purchase a system? Monarch likes to display its resellerratings.com lifetime score, but when looking at the recent history, the customer service satisfaction levels have dropped.
Company representatives said they have a new manager handling customer service, which has gone through tremendous changes over the past year. They have added a 24/7 line for technical support after hours and six new inbound lines during regular hours.
We would also like to see some anti-theft features added to this case as well. The first is to make a lock for the motherboard tray. What makes the motherboard tray a great feature for tinkering is also a theft issue at a LAN party. It is not hard to unscrew the back and slide out the tray when you are off sleeping or grabbing a bite to eat. Because the system is so portable, an eyelet for a security cord that can be secured to the table legs will ensure your system doesn't grow a set of legs at an event either.
Overall, we like what we see in the case from Monarch. A lot of time and effort went into the design. The benchmark scores speak for themselves as this machine can push out the frame rates in many different titles. While SFF is not for everyone, those looking for a solid system that is both portable and powerful will be happy with the Monarch Hornet Pro. Hopefully, Monarch can work out the kinks with their customer service and tech support. That is the only missing link that could make the system we tested a great buy instead of just a good purchase.
Readers in the UK & Ireland will have to import this from the US. Sadly this is the case with a lot of the high-end system builders like Monarch and Falcon, who are usually based Stateside.