View Full Version : Review: Thermaltake Lanbox Lite

04-20-2008, 09:41 AM
Just about all PC modders know the name Thermaltake, a premier manufacturer of power supplies, cooling systems and PC cases. The hallmarks of Thermaltake products are ease of use, flexibility and killer good looks. The Thermaltake Lanbox Lite doesn’t disappoint in any of those areas. This case features a sleek piano-black finish, extremely well thought out design and enough eye candy to please even the most discriminating modder.

The Thermaltake Lanbox Lite sports with some very impressive features:

Support for M-ATX and Mini-ITX
1 front 90mm blue LED fan and 2 rear 60mm fans
Fully modular chassis
Full ATX power supply support
2 front USB 2.0 ports, 1 front Firewire port and front audio connectors

Quite an impressive list for a compact case. Thermaltake is leaving nothing to chnce in this design.


First Impressions
On the whole, Thermaltake doesn’t settle for anything less than Cadillac quality. Even the shipping carton is nicer than most. The full color illustrations on the carton show the Lanbox Lite in all its fully lit glory, and lists the specs, while EPS pads inside provide a soft cushion for the long journey to my (or your) house. Upon opening the box, I was surprised to see the care that Thermaltake took to keep my Lanbox Lite looking nice. Besides the usual Styrofoam to hold it in place, the case was enclosed in a fitted cloth cover. Can’t have that beautiful black paint job scratching, can we?


Mirror mirror on the wall, what’s the fairest case of all? That would be the Lanbox Lite, of course! The paint finish is so high gloss it reflects like a freshly waxed Lamborghini. It boasts sleek stainless steel power and reset buttons and high quality stainless steel feet. On the side you’ll find 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 front audio ports (headphones and microphone) and one Firewire port. They are easily accessible and are located in an area that doesn’t take away from the overall look. The Lanbox Lite also comes equipped with two clear side panels, one on each side. The front has a cover over the one 3.5” bay and two covers over the two 5.25” bays. There is also a semi-mesh bottom on the front that allows airflow from the front 80mm blue LED fan. This is a small form factor case, meaning it’s designed to be compact and out-of-the-way. The Lanbox Lite is great in that respect; it’s small enough to be a HTPC, but also big enough to fit a mean lanparty rig. You could easily fit a compact water cooling kit in here as well. An obvious choice would be the Thermaltake Big Water, but a Swiftech compact kit would work and fit just as well.


The Lanbox Lite uses an almost completely modular design. Nearly every component of the case can be removed for easier component installation. The back of the case slides out in removable-motherboard tray fashion and the top panel is removable. This opens the case for further disassembly, where the hard drive bays and optical drive bays can be removed. The layout is excellent and the case is very easy to use. The only problem with the design is the dual windows (yeah, I know, pretty sad excuse for a flaw…); they don’t allow hiding of wires anywhere! Whip out those scissors guys, you’ll be cutting the excess wire in this case. The overall design allows for great airflow through the case for all of your extreme-cooling needs. But, above all, the case is easy to use. After a few tight screws are removed and tucked neatly away, the Lanbox Lite functions like a well-oiled machine. The interlocking modular “components” allow for excellent security of your expensive hardware, and the added mounting screws insure that no part will move, even a millimeter. Everything slides into place like a 3D puzzle (but without the headaches) and still manages to be attractive. Beauty and brains… it’s madness!


Well, what isn’t a pro when it comes to the Lanbox Lite? It’s the biggest small form factor case you’ll find, it’s sleek and sexy, it’s so easy to use a caveman could use it, it has every feature a larger, more expensive case has (and then some) and it bears the Thermaltake name. What more could you want? How about the fact that it fits Mini-ITX motherboards? There aren’t many cases that do that, and even fewer with this kind of craftsmanship, aesthetic appeal and features.


Honestly, there aren’t many. The lack of wire-hiding ability will put off some people and the tendency for it to be mistaken as a microwave makes it something you don’t want in a kitchen; but overall, this is a phenomenal case. Easily one of the nicest cases I’ve ever owned and I’ll be hard-pressed to find one much nicer.

Final Thoughts
It’s sleek, it’s sexy, it’s big, and it’s small. Big and small at the same time? Certainly – big enough to house serious hardware but small enough to not waste space in your computer room. The Lanbox Lite is the biggest SFF case you’ll ever find, it has the nicest features out of any SFF case you’ll ever find, and it is DEFINITELY the sexiest SFF case you’ll ever find. The paint’s mirror finish will blow your mind, the whisper-silent fans will cool your computer to the most extreme temperatures, and the overall operation and appeal of the case make it a winner in any book. The review is done. You know what you must do.

Exterior – 10/10
Interior – 10/10
Features – 9/10

Overall – 10/10 -- Must buy!

04-20-2008, 12:13 PM
Great review! But it has no back I/O panel?? That would let alot of dust in.

04-20-2008, 03:29 PM
It does. I have the same case, I love it!

04-20-2008, 03:38 PM
Great review! But it has no back I/O panel?? That would let alot of dust in.
LOL no, it has one. I lost the one to my Mini-ITX board, so it now runs without one.

04-20-2008, 05:27 PM
Ohhh ok. Didn't make sense to me at first.

04-20-2008, 08:19 PM
I forgot to add, +REP for an excellent review!

WARNING: Watch out! Some of the edges are SHARP! I managed to cut myself by accedentally touching the one by the CD drives in front while installing a new MOBO and Q6600

04-21-2008, 12:57 AM
Great Review! +Rep
Looks like every aspect of this case is covered in your article.

04-24-2008, 06:51 PM
Looks nice. I'd love to see some better pics of the guts.

Lets see... Drive bay res, pump bottom front where the HDD tray gets removed, HDD in the external 3.5 bay, just leaves you looking for a place for a rad... Re-do the side panel, maybe, fit a single rad in?

02-15-2009, 01:04 AM
Nice review! +rep.

I just ordered one of these with my TD giftcard I got for xmas for my HTPC/File Server. The P3 1U was just too much noise for me so I moved it all to another rig that I had. 3Ghz P4 HT, 1.5Gb ram, 160gb os/app drive, 1TB Storage, 7600Gs. The Compaq case just wasn't cutting it for me, and I had to find a use for the TD gift card. It'll draw a bit more power, but will give me HTPC use as well. Been watching movies and hulu all weekend with the lady.

I wanted the Antec P180 Mini, but this will do, as TD didn't carry that. Only thing else they had in the range was a QPack and I didn't really like the looks of that.

11-16-2009, 01:41 PM
Posting an update for those who may purchase one down the line.

The "dust filter" they put in the front of the case is extremely crappy. After a while it turns all gray and makes the front panel look ughghhh. Turns out you can get at it . . . except you have to bend all the tabs of the mesh holding the front mesh on.

My advice: Just take the mesh out. You get better airflow, there are too many holes for dust to find its way in anyway, AND you don't have to worry about royally screwing your front panel after cleaning the filter for the 3rd time.

*Note: I took it out after the first time I tried to clean it and didn't put it back in. It's obvious the mesh tabs wouldn't hold up too many attempts at cleaning*.

Oh, and it easily holds G80 8800GTS's, but you're probably going to have to do some modding to put anything much bigger in there. And, the side mesh is perfect size to zip tie 80mm fans to. Black goes very well and almost un-noticeable.