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Lian Li PC-Q28 Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower PC Case Review

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M-ITX PC Case Final Thoughts

M-ITX systems are not niche any more. Plenty of functional PC cases are available and all the big motherboard manufacturers have at least one M-ITX motherboard available, with features ranging from standard to high performance. The problem with high power M-ITX motherboards is that users want to use high power components. These components such as tower coolers, ATX PSU’s and long dual slot video cards wont fit inside a traditional M-ITX PC case.

Lian Li have always catered for the more affluent enthusiast and their PC cases rarely get a poor rating. The vast majority of PC cases on the market today are made from steel and plastic, but Lian Li only use aluminum. Steel and plastic is the cheaper option – and the quality of some of the cases we have seen lately is excellent, but aluminum cases just look and feel so much more high class.

There isn’t much I would change about the Lian Li PC-Q28 PC case, but if I were to change anything I think I would swap the location of the PSU and HDD rack. This solution would solve a few of the gripes I had when installing a system inside this chassis and would make for better visuals should I want to put in a side window.

Lian_Li_PC-Q28_M-ITX_PC_Case_Box

Lian Li PC-Q28 Conclusion

Important: In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the Lian Li PC-Q28 M-ITX PC case a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that it is better or worse than a similar PC case that has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score. It is however a good indicator of whether the Lian Li PC-Q28 PC case is good or not. I would strongly urge you to read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.

Performance was much better than I was expecting. Since all of the components are squeezed into such a small enclosure you would expect worse performance. This can be attributed to the aluminum construction and high air intake. Quality components also come into play, but overall it is a good performer.

Appearance is difficult for me to rate with the Lian Li PC-Q28. I see it as a blank canvas, but many will see it as perfect the way it is. Most will say it’s too plain or will simply just love it. I like the look, it is nice and simplistic and says in line with the Lian Li tradition. The PC-Q28 is also available in silver finish as well as black.

The construction of the Lian LI PC-Q28 PC case is solid, everything about it feels high grade. The brushed aluminum finish looks great but it takes finger prints like it’s working for the FBI. You won’t need white gloves to handle the PC-Q28 PC case but a little after-care when you have built your system will restore the nice finish. The side panel fitting system is just great, you don’t need to use excessive force to remove and install them, they just slot in nicely. The entire case is held together with screws rather than rivets, the end result is a more sturdy design that is easy to de-construct and reassemble.

Functionality is where I feel a little let down. Lian Li have a long history of good innovation and I was expecting something more from the PC-Q28. When you look at this case as a blank canvas you start to see potential, it is for this reason I think the P{C-Q28 will be popular with the modding community.

Being a premium product, the Lian Li PC-Q28 Aluminum M-ITX PC Case is bound to cost more than your average M-ITX PC case. In this instance the PC-Q28 costs more than a lot of full ATX PC cases. For this reason alone the PC-Q28 will get a lower value rating. Available online for $114.99 (NewEgg / Amazon), you can maybe find better, the Silverstone fortress comes to mind but there isn’t much else out there to compare to from other companies. Lian Li themselves make many other M-ITX cases with different features and price points.

If cash is not a problem, the Lian Li PC-Q28 Aluminum M-ITX PC Case will allow you to build a high power system in a small enclosure without sacrifice. If you are handy with the old tools then the PC-Q28 is a blank canvas just waiting for your attention. As with all things in life there are good point and bad points. After weighing up the pro’s and cons I have decided to give the Lian Li PC-Q28 Aluminum PC Case a our recommended award.

Pros: Benchmark Reviews Recommended Product Award Logo (Small)

+ Lightweight
+ Excellent construction
+ Nice design
+ Takes ATX PSU (17cm max)
+ Takes double slot video cards (29cm max)
+ Good overall cooling performance
+ Prime choice for modding
+ 2 x USB 3.0 ports on front panel
+ Support up to seven 3.5″ HDD’s
+ Supports max three 2.5″ SSD’s without additional hardware
+ Removable HDD caddy
+ Unique side panel installation design

Cons:

- No cable routing / hiding
– Expensive enthusiast PC Case
– PSU hinders CPU cooler choice
– Fingerprint magnet

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.50
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 8.25
  • Value: 7.00

Final Score: 8.50 out of 10.

COMMENT QUESTION: What score would you give to the Lian Li PC-Q28 Aluminum M-ITX PC Case?

NewEgg.com

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1 comment

  1. NeoV

    PC-Q28 is the best case I ever had :-)
    http://goo.gl/Aw5gou
    By removing distubing perforations in rear and side panels (in opposite to PC-Q08) it provides ideal airflow in combination with fanless PSU

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