Tagan A+ Curbic Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on September 17, 2008


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

A+ Curbic is a very simple steel mid-tower case that Tagan will be launching very soon, featuring four external 5.25” bays and seven internal 3.5” bays. This case, however, has some features that make it better than other inexpensive mid-tower cases, like two big 180 mm fans with on/off switch and speed control (one on the front panel and other on the left panel) and screwless mechanisms for daughterboards and disk drives. Let’s take an in-depth look at this forthcoming product from Tagan.

Curbic external appearance is better than other inexpensive mid-tower cases, as you can see on Figures 1 and 2.

Tagan A+ Curbic case
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Figure 1: Tagan A+ Curbic case.

Tagan A+ Curbic case
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Figure 2: Tagan A+ Curbic case.

You can clearly see on the above pictures the two 180 mm fans. Both of them have an on/off switch and a speed control knob. The on/off switch is very small and located on the lower right corner of the mesh present in front of the fans, as you can see on Figures 3 and 4.

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 3: Side 180 mm fan. The arrow shows the on/off switch.

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 4: Front 180 mm fan. The arrow shows the on/off switch.

Introduction (Cont’d)

The knob for controlling the speed of the front fan is located on the left side of the case, between the front panel and the side panel, as shown in Figure 5. The location and quality of this knob is highly questionable, however since this case isn’t a high-end unit this isn’t exactly a problem. The knob for controlling the speed of the side fan is located on the rear side of the case and uses one expansion slot (see Figure 8).

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 5: Knob for controlling the front fan speed.

In Figure 6, you can see the front panel from Curbic. As you can see it has a door, but this door is meshed, allowing air to flow inside the case. All bay covers are also meshed and have thin foam sheets that work as a dust filter.

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 6: Front panel.

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 7: Case with its door opened.

In Figure 7, you can see the four external 5.25” bays present on this case. As you can see, this case has a separated external 3.5” bay for floppy disk drives, which can also be used internally by a hard disk drive if you don’t have a floppy disk drive. The power and reset switches are big and located on the lower part of the panel near the front fan, while you can find two USB ports and one mic in and one headphone jack near the external 3.5” bay. The two USB ports are too close to each other, preventing you from installing two “fat” devices at the same time, like USB drives.

Finally we have the rear panel in Figure 8. It uses the traditional ATX layout, adding however a space for installing a 120 mm fan, which doesn’t come with the case. The knob for controlling the lateral fan speed uses one of the available expansion slots.

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 8: Rear panel.

Now let’s see how Curbic looks like inside.

Inside Curbic

The side panels are fastened to the chassis using thumbscrews, which is great. Even though you can remove the right panel, the motherboard tray is permanently attached to the chassis. In Figure 9 you have an overall look from the interior of this case.

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 9: Inside Curbic.

In Figure 10, you can see the rear panel viewed from inside, where you can see the spot for installing the optional 120 mm rear fan.

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 10: Rear panel.

This case uses a screwless mechanism for fastening daughterboards to the case. This mechanism is made of steel, which is great, as several mechanisms are made of cheap plastic that break very easily.

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 11: Screwless mechanism for fastening daughterboards.

The Disk Drive Bays

As mentioned this case has four external 5.25” bays and seven internal 3.5” bays. One of these 3.5” bays can be used for installing a floppy disk drive, so the maximum number of hard disk drives you can have is six or seven, if you don’t have a floppy disk drive. The front 180 mm fan is located in front of the hard disk drive bays, cooling them down.

As you can see in Figure 12 this case uses screwless mechanisms for fastening disk drives to the case.

Tagan A+ Curbic
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Figure 12: Bays.

Main Specifications

A+ Curbic case main specs include:

Conclusions

Tagan A+ Curbic is an entry-level mid-tower case targeted to the average user that doesn’t want to spend a lot on a case but at the same time doesn’t want a plain case. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.

Strong Points

Weak Points

In summary, if you are looking for an inexpensive mid-tower case, A+ Curbic is certainly a good option to low-end vanilla cases, especially because of its fans with speed control and on/off switch. It will, however, find a tough competition, as lots of low-end mid-tower cases cost only half the price of Curbic. It could, then, come with a lower price tag. You should, however, keep in mind that Curbic brings a better overall quality and has more features than other entry-level mid-tower cases. But of course you can’t compare the quality of the reviewed case with a high-end unit. For example, a high-end unit wouldn’t have a fan speed control knob that takes up one expansion slot or a very cheap-looking knob for controlling the speed of the front fan. If you want a case with better overall quality you will have to spend more money and buy a better-quality model, but it is our opinion that A+ Curbic fulfills the needs of its target audience.

Our “Golden Award” is given based on a user looking for a case on the USD 50-60 price range, not meaning this is a “flawless” case or better than other more expensive units – i.e., for its price it is a good pick. Of course if you have more money to spend on a case then there are several other better choices on the market.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Tagan-A+-Curbic-Case-Review/617


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