Although there's no shortage of mammoth full tower desktop chassis, very few enclosures cater specifically to LAN-goers. Considering the stringent attributes and relatively niche market involved, that should come as no surprise. The ideal LAN party case is small and light enough for easy transportation while remaining rugged enough for life on the road and having plenty of space for enthusiast hardware.
That's precisely what Lian Li's latest creation offers. The PC-TU200 sports a sturdy all-aluminum body that measures 8.26 (W) x 12.59 (H) x 14.17 (D) inches and weighs only 6.94 pounds. What's more, the chassis has a suitcase-like design with an integrated handle on top and reinforced corners for extra durability. Lian Li likens this to the US President's "nuclear football" -- a peculiar reference, to say the least.
Given its compact design, you'll be limited to Mini-ITX or Mini-DTX motherboards, but that's not a big deal. Plenty of P67, Z68 and A75 Mini-ITX boards are suitable for a gaming rig. In fact, we plan to publish a comparison review of two such boards in the very near future. The PC-TU200 also has room for a graphics card measuring up to nearly 12 inches long and it appears you don't have to remove an HDD cage.
The card can occupy nearly the full horizontal length of the chassis because there's a narrow gap below the storage drive bays. That leaves enough space for up to four 3.5-inch drives, two 2.5-inch drives (one used in the 3.5-inch bay), one 5.25-inch bay, and a standard ATX power supply in the top rear. The front panel is outfitted with two USB 3.0 ports, one eSATA port as well as microphone and stereo jacks.
In our experience, working with pint-sized cases can be frustrating because they usually employ unorthodox layouts. However, Lian Li claims the PC-TU200 has a simple installation process with a quick release lever that opens the side panel. Other design elements should help too. For instance, the hard drive bays are mounted sideways and they have preinstalled power and data connectors for easier access.
Your hardware is cooled by only one 140mm front intake fan and there doesn't seem to be room for additional fans. Most users will probably deem that insufficient for a gaming rig, but Lian Li explains that the PC-TU200 compensates for its lack of airflow with other efficiencies (the case is elevated, it has strategically-located vents and its aluminum body aids with thermal dissipation). No word on pricing or availability.