Stealthy HTPC: Two Cases To Hide Your Inner-Geek

Most Tom’s Hardware readers are technology-savvy enough to appreciate the concept of a home-theater PC (HTPC), but many of us still don’t have one. There are plenty of good reasons not to own one, from stifling DRM policies to the cost compared to increasingly-functional gaming consoles.

One of the most difficult obstacles for the industry to overcome is that many potential users simply don’t want to see yet another PC in their living room. Of course, in this context, we're reminded of the boring beige box making more noise than a theater-based component really should.

For some of us, computers that look like 1980s hi-fi components don’t go far enough towards hiding the geeky underpinnings. So, we sought out a couple of cases to address the classic "wife approval factor," which, given that the stigma of having too much tech can affect any type of relationship, could be updated to read “social-acceptance factor.”

Casual observers will probably overlook the two cases we found, not even recognizing them as PCs. The wooden unit could visually pass as a retro-themed radio, while the black unit, if properly placed, could be mistaken for a somewhat flashier-than-normal subwoofer.

Aesthetic opinions vary, while our greater interests are hardware capacity and performance. Let’s take a closer look at what these two puppies can do.

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  • cyber_jockey
    Looks sexy only wish they could make LCD TV using these old skool style
  • LePhuronn
    Heaven forfend you'd ever let anybody know you were a geek and had a COMPUTER DOWNSTAIRS! Oh the humanity.

    Surely dressing your HTPC up in these crazy cases makes you MORE of a geek? I love that black one though…
  • will_chellam
    imo the wooden case looks awful, cheap and nasty, poorly designed and incohesive - if you are going to do something like this, do it yourself or pay a carpenter to make it out of decent materials like hardwood mahogany or oak, with stealthed bays etc.

    if anyone cares what i think, i reckon a hiper media case or something similar is going to fit in a lot better with most peoples electrinics than either of the two options presented here.
  • jimmyboy_87
    When is there going to be a company that releases a decent case???, IMO the 2 displayed here are horrible, all I want is something that is going to look similar to an AV piece of equipment, but these companies just keep on banging out, oversized ugly boxes. Ive not yet found a single HTPC case that is asthetically pleasing.

    The closest ive seen to something I like is :


    I would buy one of the above, but alas, they seem impossible to get hold of in the UK, unless anyone knows of anywhere?

    The choice of (or lack thereof) really annoys me, as I am wanting to build a HTPC, but I just cannot find a case that looks nice, surely its not too much to ask for a case that isnt oversized and completely ugly, and yes ive checked out cases by OrigenAE, Silverstone and Antec.
  • Anonymous
    That wooden case is freaking gorgeous! My perfect case actually.
  • devilxc
    I can't believe they have an i7 in a HTPC! I have an i7 and a HTPC but do not have the money to combine the two.