Lian Li introduced a few cases at CES 2018, and we found their new 011 to be a great design both visually and functionally. In order to make sure they were on the right path towards creating a case that enthusiasts would approve of, Lian Li enlisted renowned overclocker Der8auer to assist in the design process, which we would say was a great move.
The O11 will be available in two versions, the Air and the Dynamic, with the Air designed with air-cooled systems in mind, and the Dynamic with liquid-cooling. Both versions of the case offer a tempered glass side panel, and a really nice method of mounting said panels to the case frame. Instead of the standard post and thumbscrew method found on most current tempered glass cases, Lian Li designed a metal frame for the glass panel that features small pegs that slide into slots on the case frame, making removal and installation a breeze.
The same mounting method is applied to the other side panel, and both sides are kept in place by the top panel’s attachment to the case, which uses the same mounting mechanism.
With regards to cooling, the Air version offers support for up to twelve 120mm fans; three up front, three on the bottom, three up top, and then three next to the motherboard towards the front of the case. Needless to say, there is a lot of air movement in this case. On the Dynamic version, there is support for up to 360mm radiators in three locations, as the front of the case features a tempered glass panel.
Taking recent enthusiast reactions and critic responses to solid front panels into consideration, Lian Li opted to outfit the O11 with a very “flow friendly” design. This front panel design not only lets a ton of air through, but plenty of light from any RGB fans or LEDs as well.
In addition to exhausting hot air via the top-mounted fans, the vertically stacked fans next to the motherboard are able to exhaust out of the case via vertical ventilation cutouts on the right side of the case. Another set of ventilation cutouts are found further back on the side panel and act as an intake for your power supply.
While the back of most PC cases are a pretty boring area, the rear section of the O11 is home to a few cool features. The first is a somewhat standard feature, but worth mentioning, and that is the option of mounting your power supply in one of two areas. The second cool feature at the rear of this case is an externally accessible drive bay. Being able to swap drives in and out of your system is a neat feature, especially when it doesn’t involve having to take off your side panel.
The internal design of the O11 is quite expansive, and has enough room to support up to EATX motherboards. Cable management is handled by multiple cutouts with rubber grommets to keep things tidy.
Speaking of cables, we were really happy to see the inclusion of a front-mounted USB Type-C port, which uses a single cable for connectivity to motherboards supporting this type of port.
What we found to be very impressive was the pricing on the O11; just $119 for the Air, and $129 for the Dynamic. Look for these cases to be available sometime in March.