External DesignThere are a few different classifications for "mini" computer cases these days. The least popular of which is probably the MicroATX slim case as they force users to adopt low-profile hardware. There are also MicroATX desktop cases, MicroATX mid tower cases and MicroATX mini tower cases, which is what the Lian Li Mini Q PC-V354 falls under.
The Mini Q PC-V354 measures a petite 245mm wide x 320mm high x 420mm deep, while its all-aluminum design cuts the weight to just 4.17kg. That's pretty impressive, as the primary competition (the Silverstone SG04) weighs 6.0kg despite being slightly smaller.
In true Lian Li fashion, the Mini Q PC-V354 is an extremely bland looking computer case -- in a good way, though. The brushed aluminum box features few minor details, but it does come in three colors, being black, silver and red.
The front is largely covered by a vent that feeds cold air inside, along with one external 5.25" bay with a fixed face to hide your tasteless optical drives. Despite concealing the optical drive bay, Lian Li has left the I/O panel exposed. The panel is situated on the right side of the fašade and sports a pair of USB 3.0 ports, two audio jacks and interestingly, an SD card reader. Finally, there is also a pair of small silver power and reset buttons.
Both the left and right sides of the Mini Q PC-V354 are identical with 320mm x 420mm aluminum panels secured via eight screws. Rather than using case doors, Lian Li has gone with a simple panel design that takes much longer to remove and re-secure. Despite that drawback, we actually prefer the panels.
Past Lian Li products, such as the Tyr PC-X2000, used doors with intricate locking systems. Although they made it quick and easy to get inside, they suffered from vibration, resulting in loud, annoying rattles. The Mini Q PC-V354 doesn't have that issue, thankfully.
Flipping the Mini Q PC-V354 over exposes four feet to grip your desk as well as protect it from scratches. There are also two sets of four pre-drilled holes on the bottom, giving the case support for 2.5" drives such as SSDs. More on that later.
The top side of the Mini Q PC-V354 is equally unexciting with another fan grill near where the CPU heatsink is internally. Other than the fan grill, there's nothing else to be seen other than beautiful brushed metal.
Things get more interesting around back with an unusual layout. The power supply sits on the bottom right, below yet another 120mm fan grill, while the motherboard's I/O panel and five expansion slots with vented covers occupy the left.
A small knob protrudes from the center with "L" on one side and "H" on the other for "low" and "high." This is part of the four-fan speed controller and we'll look at closer when examining the interior. Overall, we've found the Lian-Li Mini Q PC-V354 to be an attractive case that should suite both gamers and HTPC users.