I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Back at CES, when I was touring the Cooler Master suite, when we were done with all the usual and new releases that they had to offer at that time, just as I was ready to leave, I was pulled aside and sat down to sign a digital NDA on a laptop. Once I had that completed, I was taken into another room in the suite where I was shown things that Cooler Master had plans to being to fruition sometime this year. I saw a few things in that room, some of which didn't happen yet, but the major feature in that room was a new chassis design that Cooler Master was trying to finalize for the HAF series of cases.
From what I can recall from that meeting, I was staring at a chassis that had a chunky plastic front on it that definitely had its style points from the HAF lineup. The entire chassis was blacked out, and almost it looked like a super-sized HTPC chassis at first glance. Even then they had most of the features worked out and in workable order for the display, but I don't want to tell it all up front, I have to save some of the surprises for the rest of the review.
I will go as far as to say that from just what I saw almost a year ago now, Cooler Master was on the right path to offering enthusiasts and beginners alike, a chassis that will do almost anything you demanded of it, and the chassis is convertible into an open air test bench. How cool it that?
By the time you read this the NDA on the Cooler Master HAF XB will have been lifted, and hopefully soon after these cases will start to arrive at your local stores or favorite e-tailers. For those of you on the quest for something just a bit different that will suit not only your gaming at home and LAN party needs, but once at home, pop off a few panels, and go to work benching the snot out of your equipment as the chassis stands in its open air test bench form.
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