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Really Stylish PCs and Peripherals 310

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the style-matters dept.
knipknap writes "With Christmas lying ahead I decided it was time to present myself new PC hardware. Of course, nothing can be good enough for my Linux box, so I ran looking for some really nice cases - but was soon disappointed by the very little options available when it comes to stylish cases. There is the very nice Hoojum Nanode, which is for Nano-ITX boards only, while I was looking for more powerful alternatives. Then there was the Cubit P4, also from Hoojum, which seemed to suit my needs. I ordered one via mini-itx.com, but unfortunately they messed up the order and noticed only after it was already sold out... so there went my last option. I was also recommended Hush (I already own one) and Shuttle, both of which I found looking kind of cheap. Another problem seems to be finding good peripherals - I have not found a single higher quality mouse and keyboard outside the plastic computer world. So I decided to ask Slashdotters - which other options are there available?" Personally I love the Hush box.
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Really Stylish PCs and Peripherals

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  • try a mac (Score:1, Informative)

    by sachins (833763) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:03PM (#11130265)
    mac's are really good looking if u r considering that as a option...also u can put ur linux on the mac box
  • ThinkGeek (Score:2, Informative)

    by rzebram (828885) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:03PM (#11130268)
    Look at some of ThinkGeek's peripherals. I particularly like their mini wireless mice, though those are more for laptop applications. They carry some really nice Logitech keyboards and mice which are both stylish and functional.
  • Jeantech (Score:3, Informative)

    by dappleyard (794532) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:05PM (#11130288)
    Personally, I love the Jeantech cases - I use a Visco myself (www.jeantech.com)
  • For nano-itx (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:07PM (#11130294)
    Look at this case:

    http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-lc07.htm
  • Re:try a mac (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:10PM (#11130324)
    About the same way you put it on a PC box, downlad an appropriate ISO, burn it to a cd, and boot from it.
  • Clear PC = Bad Deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by Omega1045 (584264) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:12PM (#11130336)
    I usually would not say anything, but I had such an incredibly horrible experiece with ClearPC that I am going to comment.

    I wanted to buy a clear acrylic case for a PC I was buidling, and decorate it with neon wires (one reseller [elwirecheap.com]). I went ahead and purchased from ClearPC, a Canadian company (actually, just some guy, but read on).

    I was told the case would be packaged in a safe way, so it would arrive undamaged. When it did arrive, several parts were broken, and some extras I ordered like LED fans, etc, were just missing.

    After 6 months of constantly trying to get a response from ClearPC, I finally got some of the broken parts replaced and some of the missing parts (I still did not have everything I need for a full case, nor all the parts I ordered).

    I just gave up, but swore I would tell anyone looking for a cool case that ClearPC is a horrible vendor with horrible customer service. I usually live and let live, but this is a very special case for me. I will not put their URL here, no need to give them a free link. But if you find yourself on a case site offering clear cases ending in ".ca", just keep on surfing. BTW, this is not a dis on Canada at all, it just happens that this company is there or I probably would have at least taken them to small claims court and tried to get them blocked from doing business in my state.

  • Lian-li (Score:5, Informative)

    by currivan (654314) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:14PM (#11130350)
    Lian-li makes some nice atx cases. The one I have, the pc-v1000, looks a lot like a g5 with the drilled aluminum front. Zalman makes an absurdly expensive (~$1400) aluminum case indended for fanless cooling. Most of the decent-looking cases I came across were flat and designed for home theater applications.

    As for peripherals, I don't think you'd actually want a metal mouse or keyboard in the long run. Logitech makes a nice looking high-end wireless keyboard with detachable number pad for about $200, and I like the way their mx700 mouse looks.
  • by Jahf (21968) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:47PM (#11130552) Journal
    Next time:

    1) buy with a credit card that has purchase protection

    2) don't give the vendor 6 months (the longer goes by the less chance of getting the purchase protection invoked)

    3) document the condition and any attempts made to remedy it

    If done properly (you need to check your credit card policies, don't just assume they'll cover it) it won't matter what the vendor says, the credit card will pay you back and often will remove the money from the vendor's account.

    My sister just got scammed on Ebay (her first purchase, $300 which is a big deal for her, and looking at the seller's feedback I wouldn't have had any worry about buying from him). She is probably going to get bitten because she paid with a debit card (charged as a credit, but not all debit cards provide credit style transaction) and didn't go through PayPal even though the seller accepted it, so no PayPal protection.

    Simply put ... it is one of life's hard lessons but you have to protect yourself before doing remote transactions.
  • Re:Lian-li (Score:2, Informative)

    by didde (685567) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:57PM (#11130624) Homepage
  • Antec Sonata. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Slayk (691976) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:59PM (#11130642)
    I'm rather fond of my Antec Sonata [antec.com]

    The exterior is pretty toned-down (aside from the blue led on the front, which I have unplugged for sleeping purposes), damn quiet, and well thought-out from front to back (drawers for all drives, rubber-mounted fan/drives, etc). For those who believe that the style of a case need not end once you open it, it's a good choice.
  • by Cmdr TECO (579177) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:00PM (#11130644)
    This keyboard [matias.ca] offers real switches and USB in a 'modern' package.

    (I've never used one -- I'm satisfied with IBM Ms, Fujitsu KB4700s, and/or Apple Extendeds when away from my Kinesis Contoured -- but they have ALPS switches so they're doubtless fine.)

  • by gladbach (527602) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:02PM (#11130660)
    I am astonished that no one has mentioned soldam, a japanese case maker. very very nice stuff, but obviously comes at a price.

    www.soldam.com
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:11PM (#11130710)
    Well, if I were you, I would take a half-way decent case and mod it. Chop off the back if it is too long, put some plexiglass on the side, stencil on the side, whatever floats your boat. Much more unique than the standard Mac

    So, let me translate. "Do what every male 16-25 has been doing with his PC for several years now- making a box with a window in the side of an ugly box, because it was "cool", so mainstream that now Dell and everybody else will sell you a machine with a window in the side. That will be more original than buying a Macintosh which is actually cutting edge design".

    Everyone seems to be suggesting to go with a Mac.

    I'm suggesting he go with a Mac keyboard. I've seen tons of PC keyboards just die- Mac keyboards just keep going, no matter what you dish out. The latest Pro keyboard is also pretty stylish and does not feel even remotely "plasticky" and cheap...cause it isn't. I remember when the original Extended II Pro keyboard was still around- mine lasted for years until ADB was finally not supported by Apple anymore. Those things were damn tanks!

    As for a mouse, if you manage to break a Logitech optical, you're insane...I've had the same one for years, and I've never had to replace one in a work environment. Seen plenty of those shitty Microsoft mice die ugly deaths though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:29PM (#11130812)
    you have to see this... just beautiful. Please Santa please!
    http://matias.ca/tactilepro/index.php

    from their site...

    "The best keyboard Apple ever made" rises again.
    The Matias Tactile Pro Keyboard is built from the same premium keyswitch technology that Apple used in its original Apple Extended Keyboard, widely viewed as the best keyboard Apple evermade.
    Mechanical key switches for maximum comfort andspeed.
    Mac users who crave the feel of Apple's quality keyboards of old will love this keyboard. The Tactile Pro Keyboard uses high-quality Alps mechanical keyswitches, with enhanced tactile feedback for greater comfort and faster typingspeeds.
    Special characters and symbols at your fingertips.
    No need to launch another application to find that special symbol. For quick and easy reference, the Tactile Pro's key caps are clearly labeled with the international characters, accents, punctuation, and currency symbols that are available by holding down the Option or Shift+Optionkeys.
    Modern look and features.
    With standard Eject and Volume control keys, the Tactile Pro keyboard has been carefully designed to match the look and features of Apple's Pro Keyboard. It will look as good on your desk as your Mac does.
    2-port USB hub.
    For quickly attaching USB peripherals, nothing beats the convenience of an in-keyboard USB hub. No more reaching through the tangle of wires behind your computer to download photos from your digital camera. Just plug it into the keyboard and you're ready to go. Works great with MP3 players, keyring hard drives, joysticks, and mice too.
    Built like a tank.
    The Tactile Pro Keyboard is built to last, and comes with a 5yearwarranty.
  • Antec (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lord_Scrumptious (552119) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:33PM (#11130842)
    For cases, have a look at the Antec Sonata [antec.com]. A simple stylish design in smart piano black. Try a search at various online retailers that let buyer's post reviews and you'll find the case to be well-rated [newegg.com]. The Nexus Breeze [nexustek.nl] is also a nice design.
  • Re:Antec Sonata. (Score:1, Informative)

    by ThePlague (30616) * on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:35PM (#11130857)
    Antec does make some very nice looking, and well-thought out, cases. I just built a PC using the Aria cube case, and considering it's a small case using a micro-ATX board, it was realtively hassle-free. I've had more difficulty with some full-size cases.

    One nice feature of the Aria that some posters have complained about in other cases is that the Optical drive bay has an integrated face plate. Thus, you can get any DVD/CD/+-RW etc and not spoil the front appearance of the case. Of course, when the OD is extended you'll see the front of the tray, so I still went with a "near-match" black, but when closed it's solid Aria piano black. Very nice.
  • Re:Mac, Mac, Mac (Score:2, Informative)

    by Inconnux (227132) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:55PM (#11130981)
    Macs == Elegance? most people I know think macs look stupid. Just a way to reach out to the 'artsy' crowd to get them to pay more and get less... Wanna be original? design your own case. I built an oak desk with plexiglass top, holds two systems inside, much nicer looking than a bubble with lcd attached.

  • lots of options (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fratz (630746) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @02:35PM (#11131316)
    Most of these are in HTPC form factor, but some are not:
    • Antec [antec.com]
    • Silverstone [silverstonetek.com] - if getting an HTPC case, be careful to get one that doesn't have cooling problems with your CPU of choice. HTPC cases with higher numbers in their names are generally better at cooling.
    • Travla [travla.com]
    • Ahanix [ahanix.com]
    • XOxide [xoxide.com] carries their own brand of cases, plus a lot of the other ones on this list.
    • Arisetec [arisetec.com] (formerly Kanam)
    • CoolerMaster [coolermaster.com]
    • Logic Supply [logicsupply.com]
    sells the Hush cases you're familiar with, along with some house-brand models.
  • Try HTPC Cases (Score:3, Informative)

    by nsingapu (658028) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @03:20PM (#11131596) Homepage
    HTPC (Home Theater PC) Cases are generally understated and made to look more like they house a stereo component then a computer.
    The two most prominent manufacturers are Silverstone and Ahanix, generally one of the cases will set one back $100-$250-ish so they are definatly on the higher end of cases pricewise. Generally they suffer from a number of common defects - heat management is poor (the cases are meant to produce very little noise and airflow suffers accordingly), and the layouts and placement for the various components is, more often then not, cumbersome. That said, from an astetic standpoint they are clean, from a noise standpoint they are quite; they are the kind of thing that would be at home in a living room...
  • by russint (793669) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @03:28PM (#11131648) Homepage
    Clickable link [soldam.com]

    Aaah, the possibilities of html.
  • by UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @05:09PM (#11132318)
    I believe you can get them in the shipped to the US, but it ends up costing you like a 1000 bucks for the case. I've heard of some people placing bulk orders with them to get the price down.
  • by Gilmoure (18428) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @06:08PM (#11132726) Journal
    I have an old Sony stereo receiver I got off a trash pile. I gutted it and installed an old G3 Mac and 2 160GB hard drives. This is my digital music player in my A/V rack. As soon as I can afford it, I'd like to get a smallish (6" high) LCD touch screen and use that to control iTunes. For now, I just remote access it.

    You might be able to find some cool retro A/V cases, ala McIntosh. That would sweet, especially if you got the analog gauges working.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2004 @06:29PM (#11132869)
    If you want a REALLY high quality keyboard with GREAT key feel, I would recommend either a vintage IBM Model M keyboard, or a new version of the same design. You can find those here:
    http://store.yahoo.com/pckeyboards/keyboards.html
    or here:
    http://www.shoppalstores.com/ibmmodelm/index.cfm
    or better yet, eMail me at curtharmsebay@ameritech.net and buy one from me. :) I have a few used ones that I'm cleaning up.
    If you decide to go with a Mac, the very best Mac keyboard ever made is the Apple Extended Keyboard II, or the original version of that keyboard, the Apple Extended Keyboard. Both have good key feel. They are ADB, but you can get an ADB to USB adapter. http://www.macsales.com have a few used ones available. As far as looks go, both these keyboards only appeal in the vintage category, but some might consider them good looking. I think they're kinda cool looks-wise from a vintage standpoint. I care more about key feel anyway, then I do about looks. Just my 4 cents. (For a comment this long 2 cents just isn't enough. :)

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