We've become accustomed to Corsair enclosures looking sleek and refined - the Graphite 600T and Obsidian 650D being prime examples - but the first Vengeance-series chassis, priced at £115, is described as a solution "for travelling gamers" who seek "LAN party dominance."
This change of tact could have resulted in a gaudy end-product, but don't let first impressions fool you. We had reservations of our own - the first batch of product shots didn't exactly whet our appetite - but seeing the Vengeance C70 in the flesh has altered our stance.
Sure, it looks like a gamer's chassis and it's a far cry from the smooth lines of the 600T, but unlike some of the more garish options on the market, Corsair's managed to find a middle ground we never knew existed.
The fact that we're actually beginning to like the way the Vengeance C70 looks has taken us by surprise - we were ready to call this one an acquired taste that polarises opinion, but it's better described as a modest steel tower with a couple of additions that give it a more rugged look.
Chief among those additions is a trio of available colour schemes. On top of the usual Gunmetal Black and Arctic White, Corsair's also doing the Vengeance C70 in Military Green. The new colour scheme certainly will be met with a mixed reaction; we've nothing against the Military Green - it's different and probably will stand out at a LAN party - but we'd err on the side of caution and opt for regular Black or White. It's just a little bit too different for our tastes.
What we do appreciate is the fact that Corsair has resisted the temptation to adorn this particular gamer-orientated chassis with a heap of plastic accents. Steel is the main material on offer here, and the C70 feels as strong as it looks. The flip-up carry handles are solid and spring back to their resting position after use, and the side-panel release clips are the kind you'd expect to find on a toolbox. They work perfectly well and shut with a presumably-intended thwack, but the effect is largely superfluous; we prefer the quieter, simpler operation of the quick-release mechanism used on the Obsidian Series 650D.
These tweaks do allow the Vengeance C70 to appear more rugged - it feels more like a workman's tool than a desktop fashion accessory - and the front I/O panel has been styled to similar effect. The red 'launch' button wouldn't look out of place on a nuclear missile and it's joined by an abort (i.e. reset) button that's safely hidden behind a pop-up plastic cover. In between is a standard set of ports that includes both headset and microphone jacks, as well as a pair of USB 3.0 ports that attach to an onboard header.
The Vengeance C70 almost appears subdued for a gaming accessory. There are no hot-swappable drive bays or headset hangers, it doesn't attempt to be modular, and it's not interested in unusual internal layouts. The Vengeance C70's boldness doesn't extend beyond carry handles, the Military Green paint job and a black-tinted side-panel window, but that's a good thing; it's a chassis that can be enjoyed by both casual and hardcore gamers alike.
The aesthetics are pleasantly restrained, but we wouldn't go as far as to call the Vengeance C70 a real looker. We'd gladly sacrifice the side fan mounts in favour of a non-perforated window, and though we don't dislike the ammo-box-like design, we don't love it, either. The exterior is primarily geared to satisfy the needs of gamers, but on the inside Corsair's aiming to cover all bases with a layout that provisions for a high-end build capable of accommodating up to 11 fans.