Recap: Enthusiasts started cutting windows into their PC's side panels some 25 years ago to showcase the hardware within. The mod quickly spread throughout the hardware and gaming community and eventually, manufacturers started offering cases with pre-installed windowed side panels. Nowadays, there's no shortage of cases equipped with see-through side panels and RGB lighting at retail, so what's next to make your case stand out from the crowd?
Showcase Hologram believes it has the answer. At CES, the company (formerly Showcase PC) demonstrated two sizes of its holographic side panel kit. The smaller kit is roughly a quarter the size of a standard mid-tower side panel window, while the larger offering could replace your PC's existing side window entirely with a bit of elbow grease.
Tom's Hardware stopped by the company's booth at CES for a quick demo. Unlike last year's products that consisted of panels built into cases, this year's offerings are standalone "boxes" that can be added to any case or even run separately as a desk decoration, lowering the price and allowing folks to keep using the case they already have.
The kits draw power over USB and will interface with a mobile app to manage displayed images. Black pixels in an image will be interpreted as transparent, a rep told the publication. The spinning bits that create the effect are mounted inside an acrylic box – there's not really much more to it than that.
For what it's worth, Tom's editor Sarah Jacobsson Purewal said the images were attractive, colorful and very solid.
iBuyPower launched something sort of similar a few years back. Its Snowblind ATX gaming PC case series featured a transparent LCD side panel that can display wallpapers, images, system information and more. It sells for $199, which seems like a solid value considering you're getting an entire chassis along with your purchase.
Showcase Hologram is hoping to launch its small and large hologram side panel kits later this year priced at $149 and $199, respectively.
Image credit: Tom's Hardware