Antec Skeleton

When I first cast my eyes on the Antec Skeleton I was in awe at it’s looks. Totally removed from anything we have seen before, my initial feeling was that it would make an ideal enclosure for a test bench. The more I played with it though, the more it became apparent that the Antec Skeleton would not be suitable for someone who swaps out components on a monthly basis, never mind daily! So then, if the case is not designed for extreme overclockers, enthusiasts who regularly swap out components or indeed reviewers, who is it for?
Someone who lives in a dust free, pet free, child free zone would be a start. Dust, pet hair and clumsy children are the enemy of open air cases so if you have any of the above in your vicinity beware, this case is not for you. This case would attract some serious attention at a LAN but perhaps not just because of its looks. With no security and ease of access to components, those quick nips to the toilet during gaming breaks could be fraught with danger. So then, who would actually use this case? Someone who want’s to be different, so much so that they are willing to put form before factor.
The materials used are poor, the reinforced plastic frame is fine though and is actually sturdier than it looks but the cheap plastic used on the fan mount and the PCI support bracket could snap very easily. The rolled steel component tray is very sturdy but someone who buys a case like this wants to show it off and carrying a steel case to a LAN is no fun as anyone who has done so will tell you. That said steel is sturdy and will last the test of time but I can’t help feeling the extra cost of aluminium would be much more suitable.
The major failing however, is the disastrous framework design. While it looks great, preventing the user to fit a large heatsink & fan is simply unacceptable for a case whose ultimate objective is cooling. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that point in the build as up until then I could forgive Antec for the bad choice of materials and the lack of a clear target market but a mistake such as this is bordering on the ridiculous. With a simple design tweak, raising the main fan structure a couple of inches could have made all the difference to my opinion of this enclosure, something Antec will hopefully rectify in future revisions.
As such, despite its great looks (which itself is subjective) and innovative design, I’m afraid my advice would be to give this enclosure a wide berth unless you are happy to sacrifice CPU cooling for aesthetics.
The Good
– Rackmount style sliding mechanism
– Detachable Motherboard Tray
– 250mm Fan
The Mediocre
– PSU mounting could be an issue
– Cheap plastic clasps on side panels
The Bad
– The Design. No decent CPU cooler will fit!

Thanks to Antec for providing the Skeleton for review. Discuss this review in our forum.