SilverStone has a habit of producing unorthodox enclosures, but that isn't the reason we've come to respect the manufacturer's efforts. Nope, what we really like are the company's simpler chassis. Take the recently-launched Precision Series PS07 as an example - it isn't big, it isn't loud, but it's well built and easy to work with.
We've referred to it as "simple, elegant design," and it's a philosophy that's very much apparent in the new Temjin Series TJ04-E.
The chassis should look and sound familiar to fans of the SilverStone brand, as it's essentially an upgrade to the TJ04 that was first introduced in 2004.
The tweaked 2012 variant is set to land in stores in February and is differentiated by an E suffix - which, in case you were wondering, stands for Evolution. It'll cost €112,90 excluding VAT, which translates to roughly £115 all-in, and though that's a fair amount of money for a mid-tower enclosure, SilverStone's hoping that the modern-day improvements will do enough to convince would-be buyers.
At first glance, the revamp certainly looks more in keeping with the times. Outwardly, the TJ04-E comes across as clean and almost sophisticated. The all-black enclosure is available with or without a windowed side panel, but there's not a lot of fuss elsewhere; the steel frame is largely uninterrupted and feels solid throughout, while the 7mm-thick aluminium front panel provides a suitably elegant finish. Even the front-facing power and reset buttons have a quality feel about them.
The smooth surfaces are punctuated in a few areas, but for good reason. Up top, a sunken I/O panel provides two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of audio jacks and a handy little tray to store attached peripherals.
Further back, a removable mesh panel comes away with a gentle tug and acts as a dust filter for a pair of upward-facing fan mounts. It works well, but the panel doesn't feel anywhere near as strong as the rest of the chassis, and the plastic clips that hold it in place may weaken over time.
Generally speaking, though, build quality is very good, and if you've been put off by the size of some of the recent high-end enclosures we've looked at, the TJ04-E might be a better fit at 214mm x 489mm x 489mm. It's still a big ol' box, but it is comfortably shorter and less deep than a Corsair 650D.
Elsewhere, you'll find another removable mesh filter on the right side panel - it covers two internal fan mounts for HDD cooling - and another two fan filters underneath. They're in place to keep dust away from another fan slot and the bottom-mounted PSU.
The latter point is of particular interest as the original TJ04 provisioned for a top-mounted power supply unit. By relocating the PSU to the bottom, SilverStone has opened up the internal area and created room for a feature set that defies the mid-tower form factor. As standard, the TJ04-E ships with three pre-installed 120mm fans (there's room to add three more if need be), eight expansion slots, four 5.25in optical drive bays, a massive nine 3.5in hard-disk bays, and half-a-dozen 2.5in SSD bays.
There aren't many mid-tower chassis that can house four optical drives and 15 storage devices, so let's open her up and see how it's done.