We began a search for the ultimate micro-ATX chassis back in August with Silverstone's Fortress FT03, but found that while the chassis wasn't short of charm, it suffered from niggling issues that compromised the product as a whole.
Our search was clearly far from over, so it continues today with another SilverStone offering; the Precision Series PS07. Priced at around £55 and described by the manufacturer as the perfect choice for a "relatively small, understated, quiet, and advanced PC," the PS07 sounds right up our alley. And, seeing as we're giving one away in a HEXUS competition, we're hoping the PS07 will save our blushes by meeting those expectations. There's an element of "please, God, let it be good" about all this, so let's find out if it is.
An mATX chassis is a curious beast in that it fits in somewhere between an SFF (small form factor) solution and your traditional mid-tower. The PS07, for example, measures 210mm x 374mm x 400mm in size and though we wouldn't exactly call that compact, it's comfortably smaller than, say, a Corsair Carbide 400R, which stands at 206mm x 503mm x 521mm.
The chassis certainly won't go unnoticed, and you'd want to keep it under your desk as opposed to on top, but the shortened dimensions do introduce an element of fun. The chassis looks like a performance-orientated solution that's been shrunk, and it's cute because of it.
We really like the exterior aesthetics, and though one can never be too excited about a black box, it has a certain charm about it, and it looks and feels better than the £55 price tag suggests. The clean lines and neat angles are easy on the eye, and the appearance is certainly in keeping with the Precision brand - though, we'd quite happily have gone without the silver trim along the front-left edge.
It's a good-looking chassis, and you shouldn't let the size fool you, either, as despite being one of SilverStone's shorter offerings, the PS07 is well-stocked with features. The neatly-arranged front I/O panel sits in a strip of aluminium and provides a pair of USB 3.0 ports, audio jacks, and power and reset buttons that - despite being a little too similar and too close for our liking - provide a satisfactory click when pressed.
To the right of the I/O ports, a good portion of the plastic front cover acts as a well-disguised door that leads first to a removable filter and second to a pair of 120mm fans that draw air from vents along the left and right edges.
The added features are neatly integrated and useful, and there are plenty of them. Up top, the two 5.25in optical drive bay covers are controlled by a pair of push-to-release buttons mounted around the side, and a magnetic dust filter is positioned above the PSU vent for easy maintenance.
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that the Precision Series PS07 looks a lot like SilverStone's Temjin Series TJ08-E, and with good reason; they both share the same underlying design. But while the Temjin solution targets the higher-end with features such as an extruded aluminium front face, a single dual-speed 180mm fan and an £85 price tag, the Precision Series alternative keeps many of the features that matter and shaves £30 off the asking price.
On the outside, the steel body is strong, smart and well-thought out, and the chassis is priced well. But do the tighter confines become a hindrance on the inside?