Good Looks, Terrible Workmanship - 4 Barebone Cases Compared

TACens THECA – Impressions

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HTPC BareboneThe almost identical twin to the Aplus Blockbuster II is made by a company called TACens. From the outside, the black, cuboid looks quite classy. The drive bays reside behind a large hatch that covers almost half of the case’s front and can barely be made out, while the rest of the front is styled in a simple, no-nonsense manner. However, the illusion of classiness is broken as soon as you open the large hatch, which is accompanied by creaking and rattling. Also, it turns out that the oversized hatch itself is only made of plastic – about as cheap as you can get. On top of that, the unit lacks an opening mechanism like the one we found on the OrigenAE 21ST. In other words, if you eject a medium from the optical drive, the drive’s tray will be blocked. In the worst case, this can even damage its ejection mechanism. This applies to both 5.25” drive bays.

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In the lower part of the case’s face, there is another, more delicate lid that covers the two front USB and audio connectors. A Firewire connector is not provided. The company logo and the case’s name are lit using LEDs, although THECA only lights up when there is drive activity, while TACens is always lit.