The front and top panels are quite detailed and unique. The first thing that grabbed our attention is the control panel and the handle. Note that although the handle seems a bit uncomfortable, it is not. In fact, it’s quite comfortable and carrying the Trooper definitely did not feel like carrying 13.7kg.
The carrying handle comes rubber coated but is actually made of metal and connected to the main chassis – in other word, it’s as tough as they get. The top panel holds a silent 200mm fan. Although the top panel shroud can be taken off, there is no need for that as the dust filter beneath can be taken out for cleaning.
When we first opened the case we noticed that the protective Styrofoam is damaged and that two smaller plastic parts fell out. At a glance, the Trooper seemed just fine, but further inspection revealed that the parts come from the top panel.
The top panel plastics is tough enough and only one plastic column was damaged. The top panel is held in place with six latches and four columns so missing one will not be a problem. On the other hand, the Trooper has proven it’s quite a combative case.
The control panel is nicely designed and accessible. On top of the front panel, just below the control panel, is a 2.5’’ hot-swap unit called the X-Dock. The panel also has a digital rpm controller, which allows for rpm control of the four fans and six regimes of operation.
The front panel has no dust filters since each of the nine mesh grill drive bay covers acts as a filter. A thin and tightly woven mesh grill can be found inside the covers and you can simply blow the dust off. One cover has a 3.5’’ drive cutout that may come in handy for a floppy drive or card reader, whereas the package also holds a 5.25’’ converter.
The front panel drive bay covers can be removed by grabbing them from the sides, pushing inwards and pulling. The plastic is tough but bends just enough to ensure easy handling.
The top three covers hide the 5.25’’ bays; the next six hide two 4-in-3 cages whereas the bottom one covers a secret drawer.
The Trooper’s front panel is quality made so there’s no need to take the entire panel off just to mount a DVD drive – all you need to do is remove the cover and you’re good to go. In case you have more than three 5.25’’ drives, removing one 4-in-3 cage will make room for another three 5.25’’ devices (or, of course, six 5.25’’ drives if you remove both 4-in-3 cages). While we don’t think anyone will need that many 5.25’’ devices, it’s comforting to know it’s still possible.
Once both 4-in-3 cages are taken out, there is enough room to mount a 480mm (Quad) watercooling radiator. The Trooper is about 482mm tall (measured from the inside).
The secret drawer on the bottom holds some spare parts for the Trooper. There is plenty of room inside and our Sentinel ZeroG gaming mouse (40mm tall) fit like a glove.