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Lancool is a brand that belongs to Lian Li, a manufacturer that is famous for its top-notch aluminum cases. The new PC-K57, however, is completely manufactured in steel, helping it to reach a very affordable price tag of USD 70, while still coming with lots of features only found on more expensive models. Is the PC-K57 a good product? Let’s check it out.
The first thing that catches the eye when seeing the PC-K57 for the first time is its left-side panel. Like several other cases, it has a mesh that allows you to install extra fans, but this mesh comes closed. It supports two 120 mm or 140 mm fans. If you want to add only one fan, it can be installed in three different positions: at the top, on the middle, or at the bottom of the mesh. In any position that you decide to install your single fan, you can keep the rest of the mesh closed, since the cover is divided into four plastic parts.
[nextpage title=”The Front Panel”]
The front panel of the Lancool PC-K57 has three external 5.25” bays, all using meshed covers with air filters. Above the 5.25” bays you can find the buttons and connectors of the case, and the PC-K57 comes with only one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port, which is the main drawback of the product.
At the bottom of the front panel there is space for two 140 mm fans, and the product comes with air filters for them, but only the bottom fan comes with it (LI121425OE-4). See Figure 6. This fan has a three-pin power connector, meaning that you can install it directly on your motherboard and, therefore, monitor its speed. It also comes with an adapter if you prefer to install it directly on your power supply. The manufacturer doesn’t publish the technical specifications of this fan.
[nextpage title=”The Bottom and Rear Panels”]
The top panel of the PC-K57 is plain and doesn’t have any additional feature. The bottom panel, on the other hand, comes with an air intake with an air filter for the power supply fan.
The rear panel and the interior of the Lancool PC-K57 aren’t painted. The power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case, and the case comes with eight expansion slots featuring vented covers. The presence of eight slots instead of seven allows you to have three or four video cards installed at the same time, depending on your motherboard model. This feature is usually found only on full-tower models.
There are two holes with rubber covers for passing hoses of liquid cooling solutions. One of those holes must be used to route the USB 3.0 cable, because you need to install it on one of the USB 3.0 ports located at the rear panel of your motherboard. The problem, however, is if you have an external liquid cooling solution using both holes. In this case, you will have to squeeze a hose and the USB 3.0 cable through the same hole, which is not the ideal solution.
The case comes with a 120 mm fan on its rear panel (LI121225SL-4, no technical specification was provided), using a three-pin power connector, allowing you to install it on your motherboard and, therefore, monitor its speed. This fan comes with an adapter for you to install it directly on the power supply, if you want.
The reviewed case has a tab for you to install a padlock or warranty seal, preventing unauthorized people from opening the computer.
Let’s now take a look inside the Lancool PC-K57.[nextpage title=”Inside the Lancool PC-K57″]
Both panels are attached to the chassis using silver thumbscrews, which is great. The motherboard tray has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case, several holes protected for you to route cables behind it, and several metallic clips for you to fasten cables behind the motherboard tray using cable ties. The case also has an excellent cable organizer. See Figure 11.
In Figure 12, you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened to the case using silver thumbscrews. The PC-K57 supports video cards up to 16.3” (415 mm) long, which is amazing for a mid-tower case. If you install a third or fourth video card, this card may be limited to 12.2” (285 mm) because of the hard drive cage.
Note that the power supply can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it. As already shown, there is an air filter for the power supply fan. This case has a bracket to hold the power supply. See Figure 14.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The Lancool PC-K57 has three 5.25” external bays, three internal 3.5” bays, and two internal 2.5” bays.
Two of the three 5.25” bays come with tool-less installation mechanisms.
Traditional 3.5” hard drives are installed using the same mechanism available on all cases manufactured by Lian Li, which is a tool-less mechanism where you need to install a rubber ring to a thumbscrew, install four of these thumbscrews to the drive, and then slide the drive inside the bay.
The hard drive cage is removable and you can be installed in two different choices of depth, depending if you want the connectors of the hard drives to be located facing the right panel of the case (cage closer to the left panel) or the left panel of the case (cage closer to the right panel).
As mentioned, there are two 2.5” bays. The first one is located on top of the hard drive cage. The interesting thing about this bay is that it uses thumbscrews and rubber rings, and it is the first time we’ve seen a 2.5” bay using an anti-vibration mechanism. The second bay is located at the bottom of the hard drive cage, and you need to use regular flat-head screws to install the second 2.5” drive.
[nextpage title=”Main Features”]
The main specifications for the Lancool PC-K57 case include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC) body
- Power supply: Doesn’t come with the product
- Available colors: Black
- Side panel: Meshed, with cover
- Dimensions: 18.6 x 8.3 x 19.9 inches (472 x 210 x 505 mm) (H x W x D)
- Net weight: 20 lbs (9.2 kg)
- Gross weight: 23 lbs (10.6 kg)
- Bays: Three external 5.25” bays, three internal 3.5” bays, and two internal 2.5” bays
- Expansion slots: Eight
- Maximum video card length: 16.3” (415 mm) for the first and second video cards, 12.2” (285 mm) for the third and fourth
- Maximum CPU cooler height: NA
- Fans: One 140 mm fan on the front panel and one 120 mm fan on the rear panel
- Optional fans: One 140 mm fan on the front panel and two 120 mm or 140 mm fans on the left panel
- Additional Features: Tab for padlock or warranty seal
- More Information: https://www.lancoolpc.com
- Average Price in the US*: USD 70.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Lancool PC-K57 is a terrific option for users looking for a case full of high-end features at mainstream price. It has some minor drawbacks, though, but at USD 70 we think it is a terrific product.
- Excellent price
- Eight expansion slots
- Vented slot covers
- Air filter for the front fan
- Air filter for the power supply fan
- Support for video cards up to 16.3” (415 mm) in length
- A huge hole in the motherboard tray for accessing the backplate of the CPU cooler
- Holes for routing cables behind the motherboard tray
- Cable organizer
- Two 2.5” bays
- Anti-vibration mechanism for the three 3.5” bays and one of the 2.5” bays
- Cover for the mesh on the left-side panel
- Only one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port
- Interior and rear panel aren’t painted
- No specific hole for routing the USB 3.0 cable to the rear panel (only an issue if you have an external liquid cooling solution)
- High-end users may want a case with more 3.5” internal bays