I already know by the time I reach the ripe old age of retirement, I'll be a grumpy old coot. People tell me I have an old head on young shoulders, and I can see what they mean. While I dearly love new technology and science, I'm resistant to change and the flamboyance that's so prevalent in my generation is a constant source of friction. In short, there's a desperate lack of humility and I can't stand hipsters. And infographics! It's like a mass competition to see who can come up with the most cluttered presentation of anything and everything to satisfy the need for constant audio-visual stimulation. Or, should I say that satisfaction in constancy has become a lost art?

AZZA XT 1 Mid-Tower Case


I'm convinced the initial success of Apple's iPod was due to little slice of stillness it offered with a clean and "simple" user interface to people whose lives had anything but stillness. Digital circuits get cheaper and ever fewer products offer something new rather than just cramming more features into a single device. So, the only way left to stand out is with marketing and attention grabbers. Personally, I much prefer clean and simple, even spartan, designs. Part of capitalism is marketing what sells, however, and boy does flashy sell. In other words, subtlety has been thrown out the window and AZZA's XT 1 full-tower case is our case in point.

Azza XT 1 Mid-Tower Case


AZZA's XT 1 Full Tower case makes quite a bold statement with its styling. The superfluous angles make the XT 1 aggressive and mean looking. It packs quite a few features too: tool-less drive trays, tons of ventilation, four 5.25" drive bays, six internal SSD/HDD bays plus an external swappable hard drive bay, cable management, dual USB 3.0 ports, dust filters, water cooling support. Not least of all is the enormous 230mm fan sitting quietly on top to push all the hot air out, with three more to pull cool air in. The XT 1 measures 22.3" tall by 8.1" wide and 20.3" deep, so it's pretty big. The cost for all this goodness? $109.99 to $119.99. Not exactly inexpensive, but we're here to see if it's worth it, or if craftsmanship became the proverbial baby in the bath water when subtlety was thrown out the window.