UK price (as reviewed): £109.98 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP TBC
Once a go-to brand in the case market, Antec has fallen a little to the wayside in recent years. However, we noted at Computex this year that it had a couple of interesting and promising cases on the horizon, one of which is the P110 Luce that we're looking at today. It's a full-tower chassis that looks set to come in at £110, and with its tempered glass side panel, RGB lighting, and PSU shroud, it's evidently looking to bring Antec's ageing lineup into the modern era.
Cases over £100 need to demonstrate above average build quality, and the P110 Luce does just this. Obviously tempered glass is nice to see, but the rigidity of the steel that makes up the bulk of the chassis also impresses, and the roof and the outer section of the front panel are made from metal as well (0.8mm aluminium for the latter), cutting against the tide of costly cases that still rely a bit too heavily on plastic. Even the feet impress with their wide rubber pads. The front panel looks solid head on, and it has a pleasant brushed metal finish, but vents down the sides provide an inlet for airflow.
The plastic magnetic filter on the roof does strike us as a bit of an eyesore, and we wonder if Antec could've done a little more to disguise it. That said, the design will maximise airflow from any fans you install here, and it also means that the dust filter is as easy as possible to remove and clean. The front panel is removed cleanly with a tug, and this unveils a full-height removable dust filter here, while a full-length one covers the bottom, and this conveniently slides out to the side. In short, you have full dust protection, and every filter is simple to use.
The P110 Luce is well set up to accommodate numerous fans, with space for up to three in the front, two in the roof, and one in the rear. It also appears as if you can install fans in the lower section too, though we suspect this is more aimed at custom water-cooling – see over the page for that. By default, the case ships with a single 120mm front fan and a second in the usual rear exhaust position.
Dual USB 3.0 ports are joined by a single HDMI connection on the front panel in a nod towards VR headset users. This HDMI port can be routed via a long cable to one of your GPU's outputs thanks to a small hole at the back of the case. The front I/O panel is mounted such that the ports face upwards in recognition of the fact that most people will have a case this big on the floor.
The power button is joined by an LED control button, because what's a case these days if it doesn't have some RGB lighting? Specifically, the front Antec logo is backlit by RGB LEDs, while an internal control panel allows you to connect up to two more RGB strips and have them be controlled by and synchronised to the same button. The internal Antec logo is also backlit but, oddly, only by a white LED – it's not part of the RGB system. The colours are limited to seven static ones and two cyclical patterns: breathing and flashing. Bizarrely, there's no off setting either, so if you were hoping to dim the lights to watch a movie or when going to sleep, you're out of luck – particularly annoying if you also hook up extra strips. Lastly, there's no ability to connect the lighting controller to an RGB header on a motherboard, so software control isn't possible. We hate to dwell so long on RGB, as we know many are not interested, but if you're going to do it you should do it right, especially these days. Antec's attempt here, however, feels half-hearted at best, a nod towards the current trend but not a true attempt to utilise it.
November 6 2020 | 17:30