updated 11:30 am EST, Wed January 17, 2007
AOpen F501 case folds flat
Normal computer cases tend to occupy a great deal of space even when they're hollow, and to that end AOpen has designed the F501. The unit ships flat, but panels pull out to form the metal frame of a mid-tower ATX case, and the black exterior is snapped on in seconds. To retain space, the power supply and 4.7-inch fan are optional. Bays in the system hold up to two external and five internal 3.5-inch drives, as well as four external 5.25-inch drives. The front of the case has two USB ports plus mic and headphone inputs. AOpen has yet to say whether they'll offer the 501 in North America, but the case is partly designed with shipping in mind -- AOpen reasons that while a standard 40-foot container might hold 1,000 to 1,200 ordinary mid-towers, up to 2,560 501s could fit in the same space. In theory, this could greatly decrease the cost of the product.