Those who read our case reviews know that we can be quite particular when it comes to selecting the right chassis for the job. In the past, we have been very skeptical of models priced over $200 as they often represent a terrible value. For example, the $400 NZXT Khaos weighs more than steel behemoths like the Thermaltake Armor+ while costing twice as much. Moreover, it is poorly designed, lacking many features present on sub-$200 cases.
There are currently plenty of fantastic options in the $100+ range, such as the Cooler Master HAF 932, which quickly became our favorite case of 2008. But as remarkable as the HAF 932 is for its price, it's in a totally different class than the beast recently unleashed by Thermaltake and that we are taking a look at today.
First shown as a prototype at CeBIT 2009, the "Level 10" immediately captured our attention and we couldn't wait until it hit the consumer market. That time has come.
Manufactured and marketed by Thermaltake, the Level 10 was actually designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, a subsidiary of the BMW Group. In addition to engineering yachts, trains, aircraft, lifestyle and IT products, the three studios in Munich, California and Singapore also create design concepts that transform visions into reality. The Level 10 happens to be one of those concepts and is easily one of the most iconic computer cases ever created.
We've never seen a chassis that looks remotely like the Thermaltake Level 10. It's not the kind of case you walk by without noticing, and when you do see it, resisting the urge to move in for a closer look is impossible. Simply put, the Level 10 is a piece of art. However, like most fine works, the Level 10 comes at an exorbitant fee and users can expect to pay somewhere in the vicinity of $700 for this PC enclosure.
With an asking price that would otherwise buy you a 3-way GeForce GTX 460 SLI setup (with money to spare), or an entire gaming system for that matter, we have to ask the obvious: is the Level 10 worth your cash?
We get the feeling there is no objective answer to that question, as its value is largely based on your appreciation of its design. Still, we are interested in seeing if there is more to the Level 10 than its eye-catching appearance, so read on as we dissect Thermaltake's new flagship offering.