Thermaltake is bringing two new sets of cases to market this year. The first set is an addition to the Chaser series cases. The three new models to the series are dubbed the A71, A41, and A31. Features common to all three models include USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and front HD audio ports, various numbers of preinstalled fans (all include a blue LED fan), advanced cable management, and windows for showing your system off. The A71 is a full tower model while the other two are mid tower cases. Hard drive docks are built into the top, just behind the USB ports.
Of course, not everyone likes Thermaltake’s typical stylized designs, and for those people the company has introduced a completely new line: the Urban Simplicity cases. The four models in this line (S71, S41, S31, and S21) avoid any flash in favor of a simple, elegant design. In fact, the only thing that seems to actively draw attention (aside from its clean design) is the single blue bar of light near the case’s top edge. The front drive bays are hidden behind a brushed aluminum door. All of the models by default come with a solid side panel, but windowed panels are an option. Drive docks are built into the top of all but the S21 model.
Tower-style air coolers are awesome unless you have RAM with tall heatsinks. This is especially problematic with LGA2011 systems which have RAM slots on both sides of the CPU socket. Then you might have some issues with laws of physics that disallow two solid objects from occupying the same space. Thermaltake has heard the complaints and developed the NiC (short for Non-interference Cooler) CPU coolers. The tower is designed to be no wider than the socket space with its fans installed.
The Water2.0 cooler series has been updated to Water3.0, bringing two key improvements that make it work better and fit in more cases. The performance improvement comes from the new pump which runs more quietly and efficiently. The improved compatibility comes from a thinner radiator profile which is about half the thickness of the older 2.0 models. Based on some eyeballing, the new radiator looks to be about the thickness of the standard 120mm fans that come with the Water3.0 kits. Thermaltake had the Water3.0 Extreme installed in a demonstration case—the radiator was almost completely hidden by the inside edge of the case…all you could see were the fans holding everything in place.
The BigWater 760 Pro is the newest member of the company’s dual 5.25″ bay liquid cooling line, and it brings a number of improvements over its predecessors. The 120mm fan below the radiator combines a new fin design and variable speeds to reduce noise and improve cooling. The connections between the radiator, reservoir, and pump have been redesigned to eliminate the leaking issues that crept up for a few users of previous units. Of course the Pro model retains its trademark UV reactive 3/8″ tubing, copper CPU block (which is highly polished), and universal socket compatibility for all current AMD and Intel desktop platforms.
LUXA2 is a division of Thermaltake that has been around since 2009. Most of their lineup involves cases and desktop mounting products for iOS devices, but there was something that particularly caught my attention. Bluetooth headsets aren’t an uncommon item, but headphones that use NFC to initiate, configure, and complete the Bluetooth pairing? That’s something I hadn’t seen until the LUXA2 BT-400 Bluetooth Stereo NFC Headphones. They really are simple to set up; touch your NFC-enabled device to the side of the headphones, wait about five seconds, and you’re paired up. No settings to mess with, no worries about what device the headphones were previously paired with. The headphones were paired with a Samsung Galaxy S III, but when it decided to reboot itself, I took the opportunity to test them on my Galaxy Nexus. It really does work. The best part is how good they sound at any volume. I was rocking some Led Zeppelin in a matter of seconds.
This is shaping up to be another good year for Thermaltake and its divisions.