Antec's enclosure lets you do your testing without having to deal with panels and other nuisances. We give a blow-by-blow account of how it works.
- Makes testing components easier
- HD audio connector too short
Antec's Skeleton will make your life much easier when it comes time to swap stuff in or out, whether you're doing it because you need to pretest components prior to deployment in other equipment or just because you're tired of what you have.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
If you've ever been in the middle of a system build or component installation and thought to yourself, "I wish I could reach through the case but there's a panel in the way," then Antec may have a solution for you with its new — and very unconventional — Skeleton enclosure.
Antec's Skeleton is a frame with a removable drawer for components, a removable tray for the motherboard that sits atop the drawer and a honkin' big 250mm (9.84in!) fan sitting up on its head with tricolor LED lighting. Basically, it looks like a cross between an arch bridge and a skinned Terminator. While it does have a bottom (sort of), it has no true sides, no back, front or top panels — and, best of all, no solid intervening panels to block your access.
I test a lot of equipment. My hard drive testbed had pretty much reached the end of its lifespan, thanks to an older chip set (and the fact that I've misplaced both side panels). It was time to build a new platform, and I thought I'd give the Skeleton a try. Stuffing the Skeleton
Putting some meat on the bones of this Skeleton is beyond simple. Two thumbscrews hold the drawer in place. Loosen them (they won't fall out) and then slide the draw out of the frame. While that will give you access to the motherboard tray, you can remove the tray itself entirely by removing the three screws that hold it onto the drawer.
Thankfully, I encountered no sharp edges no matter where in the case I jammed my hands, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to fit your whole hand anywhere, especially if they're big, old ham hocks like mine. I was able to overlap my fingers at every point from anywhere inside so that made life relatively easy.
I selected an ASUS P5QL-E motherboard, which has six SATA ports, allowing me to take advantage of the Skeleton's six hard drive bays. Unfortunately, that didn't leave me any available ports for SATA optical drives or for the Skeleton's front-mounted eSATA port. I'm considering adding an Addonics 4-port eSATA card to the system for extra drive capacity.
Once the motherboard was in place, I decided to install the power supply unit (PSU) next. It's a good idea to install the power supply right after the motherboard, because once you've put the drives in place, it gets a little cramped in that drawer. There is a way around that: If necessary, you can route cables by turning the case over on one of its sides or its back, but it's easier when the front of the drawer is empty.
Antec, of course, recommends one of its Signature series models: the 650 or 850 (watts). These devices are 80 Plus Bronze certified PSUs, which means they adhere to more stringent voltage and power output levels than uncertified power supplies. That's why they're great for a system being used as a testbed. The Signature 860 retails from about $US213 to $272, so if your power requirements aren't critical, find yourself a nice sub-$100 PSU and save some money.
Antec doesn't recommend the newer PSUs with 120mm fans because of airflow problems with their internal fans, but the Skeleton will accommodate them and almost anything else, if you follow the directions.
A note: I found myself needing to add an extra power cable to the Signature 850 PSU (it has modular cables) so I could hook up a drive on the side panel as an afterthought. The plug-in module on the PSU was reachable but needed more effort than I was willing to expend, so I settled for an adapter cable attached to one of the existing lines. In general, as far as the Skeleton is concerned, it's a good idea to think twice so you'll only need to cable once.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Witness a 241% Australian price hike: Dell Latitude 7370 review
- 2 Is this the best value phone on the market? Moto G4 Plus review
- 3 Sony Xperia X Performance review: Sony’s most disappointing product in years
- 4 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 5 Huawei Mate 8 review: probably the best all-round Android phone you can buy
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- AMD packs 1TB SSD into a GPU for better VR and gaming
- AMD's new SSG Technology blends an SSD with a GPU?!
- AMD's Radeon Pro WX GPUs can create VR content for under $1,000
- Nvidia's latest Quadro GPU delivers a blistering 12 teraflops of performance
- Gaming desktops with AMD Zen chips will be hard to come by this year
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- CCCommunication LeadVIC
- FTFull-Stack .NET DeveloperVIC
- CCServiceNow Technical LeadNSW
- CCSenior Deployment ManagerVIC
- CCMicrosoft Business Intelligence (BI) ConsultantNSW
- CCAgile Performance Tester- Bamboo, Jenkins, Confluence, JiraNSW
- FTSQL DATA AnalyticsNSW
- FTProduct Owner - MarketingNSW
- FTDefence Network EngineerACT
- CCTest CoordinatorQLD
- CCSAP FICO Consultant/SAP FICO Stream LeadNSW
- FTDefence Network Architect | NV2ACT
- FTBusiness Intelligence - Policy and Governance ManagerNSW
- FTDesktop EngineerNSW
- CCFull Stack Java DeveloperNSW
- FTPortfolio & Program Management ManagerVIC
- CCFMW DevelopersACT
- CC.NET DeveloperQLD
- CCProject CoordinatorVIC
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerACT
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160729/P/698Asia
- CCSAP BODS ConsultantNSW
- CCPMO ManagerVIC
- CCData Entry - TelecommunicationsNSW