The Lian Li PC-100 is a beautiful black, semi-gloss, aluminim finish; on all sides. It’s subtle, and truly does blend in with any decor. The all aluminum design really does lend itself to both contemporary decorating, as well as a tough industrial look.
The front of the chassis is a subtle black finish, it’s eye pleasing if nothing else. There are two LED’s on the front and a magnetically secured door that allows cables to exit. This is where you start to notice how different the case really is.
It supports up to 2, 5.25″ drive bays, and really little else. You can see from through the grill, what looks like the back end of a regular case. That in fact what it is, the rear end of a traditional PC.
The front panel is all one piece, and it removes quite easily from the chassis, you will need to do this in many instances to plug things in. Absent were any front panel USB connections, or connections for anything really, as everything is behind the mesh front panel. There are two cut outs directly to the left of the door to allow for cabling to come out of the side for instances where you want to plug things in and route them to the front. I found the lack of ease for USB or Audio a serious short-coming for a case of this price point.
The two LED indicators are actually push-buttons for power/reset, and as they are not marked you could find yourself hitting the wrong one. They are different in size/color however so as you become accustomed to the case, perhaps this is a non issue.
The top is fixed, and nothing to write about, left and right side panels are removable. Left exposing traditional PC insides. But on the right, there is a unique cable management track for routing cables from the front of the PC, where all of the connections would be emerging. This will strike you as odd, but upon building the machine you will need to route many cables out of the back to keep your traditional PC setup. It allows for a clean installation, and the cable management opens up so you don’t have too much pain adding cables to the actual track. Since you still have to remove the side though, and route through the rear of the chassis is kind of a pain to add, say a charging dock. It’s important to note, I’m viewing this chassis from the power supply side when I say left/right. Since the case orientation is reversed, if you open the left side instinctually to add something, you’ll get nothing but the back of the mobo tray, and cable management.
The rear of the case is oriented with the power supply on top. Lian Li included an aluminum bracket that mounts to your PSU with traditional screws and then allows you to remove the unit via thumb screw. I’m not certain why this was a compelling feature, do people remove PSU’s that often? It’s a nice touch, albeit the need to open the case to unplug cables renders it moot in practical application. There are also rubber grommits for external water cooling options, and the cable management raceway. You will see the two 140mm fans and little else back here.