Lian Li PC-Q06
Lian Li makes gorgeous cases, and I’d venture to say some of the best on the market, bar none. They specialize in premium enclosures, and like Ferrari, they shape metal into works of art and leave most people to sigh in the dreams of owning one. However, there is also an unwritten rule when it comes to consumers: form follows function. It is an old adage, and it means that design is not art; products cannot sacrifice functionality for the sake of aesthetics and beautiful form. In this particular instance, unfortunately the PC-Q06 commits that cardinal mistake in a very rare misfire by Lian Li.
The PC-Q06 is a beautiful little case, of that there is no doubt. But it is also a test bench, first and foremost, and test benches need to be functional, easy to use, quick to install and swap components. They must simply work, and work simply. Unfortunately the PC-Q06 falls a bit short in a few key areas. These could be fixed with some design revisions which include making the front USB ports vertically oriented to provide more internal room for power supply cables, moving the cable hole from the rear toward the front, increasing the height of the motherboard standoffs, reducing the height of the motherboard thumbscrews, and using less screws and going with more tool-less solutions for component installation.
These simple design tweaks would resolve most of the problems that the PC-Q06 currently exhibits. If any company can provide smart design solutions it’s Lian Li, so we’re hopeful that a second revision of the Q06 could make its way to market and provide a smart combination of gorgeous aesthetics and simple functionality.
If you really need a mini ITX open case, there are only a couple options on the market. Retailing for about $70 USD, the Lian PC-Q06 is not terribly expensive for a test bench, but it comes with a few basic design flaws that can be overcome if you’re willing to work outside the box, so to speak. Lian Li is essentially the only player in town, so kudos to them for making a splash and taking a chance, and we’re hopeful that a few design revisions could really improve a future release.