Physically speaking, the
Soltek EQ3501-300PW QBiC Mania is a large SFF PC, measuring 35 x 24 x 23.5 cm in size. Because
of this, the Soltek SFF PCs are among the few boxes that support two 5-1/4" devices! Very handy for users looking
for a direct desktop replacement.
In the front, Soltek hides the two 5
1/4" drive bays under silver plastic hinged flaps. If you install optical devices,
there are two circular chrome coloured buttons to provide the eject function. A single 3-1/2" drive
bay sits in the middle of the front bezel, good for a floppy, Zip drive or
pretty much anything else that fits. Just under that is the power button as well as the
power LED and HDD LED, all of which have are pre-connected. Finally, at the bottom
of the case are the front panel I/O connectors. Here we find an
optical SPDIF out, microphone and headphone jacks, two USB 2.0 ports and one IEEE 1394a
The rear of
the QBiC system looks quite normal. To the right of the power supply is the antenna for the integrated USB 2.0 wireless
NIC. Below that is the cover for the two internal expansion slots and to the left
of that are the easily identifiable rear I/O ports. The colour-coding should help new users
get the right cable connected to the right port.
nicely colour coded I/O ports comprise of the
ever-useful mouse/keyboard PS/2 ports, a Serial and monitor port, Gigabit wired NIC, four USB ports and
one more IEEE 1394a connector. As for audio there are five jacks, one for the
center/sub, back, front and side speakers and Line in.
itself is simply Soltek's
SFF chassis with a plastic cover which can be removed if necessary.
The side vents are not just for looks; there are actually holes in the aluminum
shell which allow air to pass through the EQ3501-300PW QBiC Mania. Once everything is
assembled, I'm happy to report that all the edges are flush with
each other. Installing the top shell can be a bit difficult at times as the aluminum
is not anodized and tends to be a little 'sticky' to friction.