A-Top Technology Gladiator 2005
Similar to the NZXT Nemesis Elite, which we had reviewed last year, the Gladiator uses a brushed aluminum door. In the center of the aluminum door, is an A-Top emblem. One of the exciting features, which we will discuss more in the later part of this review, is the LED background lighting. There are multiple blue LEDs concealed inside this front panel door. Opening up the door, we see four external 5.25" drive bays along with two external 3.5" bays. Unlike the XPlode chassis, the USB and audio ports are located on the front of the front of the case rather than on the right hand side of the bezel. Between the front panel door and the front ports are the power and reset buttons. There are two sections of this mesh on the lower portion of the front bezel, to allow air for the 80/92/120 mm intake fan. The theme used on the lower portion of the case and extends onto both side panels are similar to what we've seen with the Logisys Janus, Logisys Dracula, and ePower Tech Warrior. With this style, the overall case gets a rather streamlined design. On the side panel, we see a majority of it to be mesh. One of the problems we see with this side is where the chrome details that continue from the front of the case and extend to three different points, two of these points aren't security attached to the metal mesh. We were able to easily bend these points a couple of centimeters out; if more force was applied, the chrome-like plastic could easily snap off. Adding some extra glue to these end points could prevent it from being damaged if more force were to be applied. The opposite side, where there was no metal mesh, appeared to be securely attached to the aluminum side panel.
On the back portion of the case, we see the standard PSU mount, with the XBlade pre-installed, expansion slots, I/O panel, and an 80/92/120mm exhaust mount. An 80mm fan comes installed as well. Only thumbscrews can be found on the main side panel while three screws protect the other side panel. Opening up the side panel, we see a large space to work with. The case can handle motherboards of dimensions of 12" x 10" (or 12" x 10.5", if only two 5.25" drive bays are occupied). Unfortunately, the 5.25" drive bays aren't tool-less nor do they have a little metal ledge on each side of the bays to help align the drive with the screw holes. Moving onto something a bit more impressive is the internal 3.5" drive bays. This part of the case is totally tool-less and is able to handle five hard drives. Not only is each drive bay tool-less, but also the entire 3.5" cage, by removing a single thumb screw on the bottom of the cage and depressing a latch on the top of the cage, the entire unit can simply slide out. When the unit is taken out, the intake fan is visible along with another 80/92mm fan mount not previously mentioned. Although no fan comes pre-installed, one can be easily added by simply removing the opposite side panel and screwing one into place. Moving onto the rear portion of the case, we see the clear 80mm exhaust fan along with the expansion slots. As with the XPlode, it's unfortunate to see the punch-out expansion slots used as their not reusable, can sometimes be a hassle to remove, and in some instances can bend the metal spacer between the slots. The included XBlade PSU is near identical to the one bundled with the A-Top XPlode except this PSU has multi-colored UV wires.
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