Brought to you by Norton Symantec
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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 2 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 7 Plus review: Predictable and plus-sized
- 5 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
Latest News Articles
- QNAP Unveils the TS-1635AX 16-bay NAS
- Razer debut the first Opto-Mechanical keyboards in the form of the new Huntman and Huntsman Elite
- Samsung brings the Samsung Fl!p to Australia
- Intel CEO resigns after probe of relationship with employee
- Computex 2018: G.Skill draw eyes with new 'Crystal-RGB' RAM and new gaming gear
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- ASUS Zenbook Pro 15: A futuristic, exciting, imperfect, flagship notebook
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?