Antec Veris MicroFusion Remote 350 HTPC Case Review
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The Home Theatre PC market which only a few years was once a niche market has really started to grow in popularity. This increase in popularity is due to many different maturing technologies. Some would argue people (thanks to TiVO and other PVRs) have started to get a taste for recording TV without the need of external media, which at the best of times was a mix of low quality and short duration. We like to think this is only one such area which has allowed the HTPC market to flourish and is in fact more a bonus side effect than the actual true cause.
The real cause of HTPC popularity is due in part to technology getting faster, smaller and cooler running while becoming more and more accessible to regular consumers. Being able to have a dual core MicroATX based system is at the heart of the expansion; but without newer, fresher case designs the HTPC would still be nothing but a good idea whose time never came. No one besides the hard core uber geek wants to have a big, bulky, loud and all in all ugly beige box in their entertainment center, no matter how many shows and movies it can record. People will put up with a lot of things but when it comes to making a decision and spending hard earned dollars “beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes to the bone”!
Regardless of why it is expanding, the fact of the matter is the HTPC market is growing and as with any growing market, it is becoming quite diversified. This is for the simple reason different people like and want different things and manufacturers are more than willing to cater to our every desire and whim, as long as they see profit to be made. On one end of the spectrum you have relatively massive HTPC cases which can house any enthusiast / PC gamer / etc’s dream system and looks a lot like a massive 7.1 amp. Meanwhile, at the other end you have cases which are no bigger than an old fashioned first gen DVD player (or to show my age a VHS / Betamax player). For this review we will be looking at the smaller end of the spectrum as it is certainly an interesting niche in which our review item just happens to fall into.
As we have said in the past: the market for cases is expanding rapidly and smart, forward thinking manufactures are quick to turn a good idea into reality if it means increasing their market share. Today we will be looking at a one such company’s latest design: the MicroFusion Remote 350 from Antec. This is a “powerfully petite” HTPC case camouflaged in such a way that it perfectly integrates into even the most stylish of home theatre entertainment systems.
This case is an update on the original Fusion 350 as it now comes with an IR remote but the fun doesn't stop there. It also comes standard with a IR Remote but also 350watt 80Plus Antec power supply and retails for anywhere from $180 to $200+ Canadian dollars. As for availability, it is starting to become available through e-tailer and some specialty retailers around the country. Where this is an Antec HTPC case, we fully expect availability will only get better in the coming months.
As with any HTPC purchase ,you have to carefully balance your needs vs wants. We can’t tell you if a MicroFusion 350 Remote is right for you but by the end of the review we will be able to tell you if it is a good example of the genre; and if everything goes according to plan, be able to help you decide if this is even the right style of case for your needs. Best of all we will be able to tell you all this before you spend any of your hard earned dollars. What could be better than that? So without further ado lets get this review party started.