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!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Intel Coffee Lake 8th-gen Core processors release date rumours
- Intel's mobile future is in blazing modems as it buries Atom failure
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCSecurity Analyst - multiple rolesACT
- TPOrganisational Change Manager - ICT Services TransformationQLD
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTSenior Database AdministratorVIC
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- TPAPS6/EL1 Database Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerVIC
- CCSAP Consultant - SAP Native HANA to DesignWA
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- CCSME in Openstack, AWSNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCSAP ISU Device Management ConsultantNSW
- FTDeveloper - Java/J2EEQLD
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- TPChange and Communications CoordinatorQLD
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPSenior Java Developer / DevOps - ContractQLD
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCFront-End DeveloperQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW