TAKING IT TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL!
ThermalTake Level 20 VT
Review by: Jennifer Griffiths
Video & Testing by: Philip Griffiths
Many is the time in choosing a case in which you must sacrifice one thing for another. If you want style, sometimes you must sacrifice the smaller cases and "go large". This is a problem in that not many of us have the extra room for the huge cases. Well, ThermalTake have decided that we no longer need to do this, we should be able to have our cake and eat it too, so to speak. Thus they came out with the Level 20 VT Micro Chasis. It promises style, customisation, and a smaller footprint.
Now I know what you are thinking, and you are right. I don't like small cases because most of them do not have proper air flow and cable management can be a nightmare. But I am willing to give this bad boy a chance. I want to see if ThermalTake are prepared to "Bring it" when we at TFT do a build to remember.
All this and more when you read on!
Four 4mm Tempered Glass Panels
The front, top and side panels are all built from our ultra-durable 4mm tempered glass. This means the panels are more resistant to dust and scratches than acrylic and provide a clearer view of internal components.
The Level 20 VT is optimized for space management. It’s divided into two main chambers: the upper chamber is made to house the motherboard and PCI-E components, while the lower one is made for the PSU and drive bays. Thanks to the removable 2.5”/3.5” drive device racks, there is plenty of flexibility to fit larger components or build a custom liquid cooling loop.
Big Possibilities, Small Footprint
The Level 20 VT is all about big things coming in small packages. The VT supports M-ATX motherboards, as well as CPU coolers up to 185mm in height, VGA lengths up to 350mm and PSU sizes up to 200mm in length. It also supports up to two 240mm radiators side-by-side in the top panel, or one 280mm at the top or along the side. Meaning you can fit plenty of top-end hardware in this little case.
ModelLevel 20 VT
Dimension (H x W x D)348 x 330 x 430 mm
(13.7 x 13 x 16.9 inch)
Net Weight8.66 kg / 19.09 lb
Side Panel4mm Tempered Glass x 4(Left & Right & Front & Top)
ColorExterior & Interior : Black
ThermalTake is thrilled to show the latest TT Premium product line-the Level 20 Series which commemorates 20 years of dedication to the PC industry. The Level 20 VT is the pocket rocket of the Level 20 Series, offering massive support inside an M-ATX footprint.
The Level 20 VT is designed to prove that micro cases don't have to be small on power. It boasts a 200mm fan pre-installed at the front as well as great liquid cooling support, 4mm tempered glass panels and interchangeable panels with filters. The VT also has a chambered design with a flat motherboard tray that lets you hide away cables while showing off liquid cooling hardware at the top. The Level 20 VT takes our latest case innovations and wraps them in an ultra-modern, space-conscious style that's utterly unique in the case market today.
About ThermalTake :
Our Mission – Delivering the perfect user experience
Every myth starts out as a dream, and at the beginning of every legend is a desire. The challenging, creative and competitive features of the Thermaltake Group offer an exciting and fascinating user experience that can be shared by everyone, while allowing users to transcend themselves in terms of function and potential.
Thermaltake Group's three main brands—Thermaltake, Tt eSPORTS and LUXA2—have been merchandising high-quality products throughout the world, successfully establishing firm footholds in six major markets, including Europe, America, Oceania, Japan and China, with 95 regional distributors and more than 4,000 premium retailers.
Not much to report. It says ThermalTake on the box and tells of the 3 tempered panels. There are no pictures and logos and in my honest opinion that's a shame. If you had this in your retail store you would need to print a picture and attach it to the box so people could see if they liked it. Otherwise it would be to open the box etc. In as much as I don't like drawings on packaging, that would have been something.
Inside we have the chassis with foam around it and a plastic cover under this. When this is removed we can see the glass panels around the case. I count four but they reported three. One on the front, one on the top and two sides adds up to four for me. Oh well. Moving right along...You have two Auxiliary jacks, USB 2.0 headers, two USB 3.0 headers, a reset switch, a power light, and the Power Button on the front panel.
On the back you have five PCI slots, room for cooling, motherboard, area for PSU...the normal stuff. Even though it is a micro case, it seems to have a lot of room inside.
It has one 200mm fan in the case and I can't help but notice that the only ventilation is a small gap around the top of the chassis. The smaller things are, in regards to computers, the warmer they tend to be. This in mind, I probably would have designed it so it could be adjustable for more of a gap if this was the only ventilation. Moreover, I would have designed the front the be able to pop off and expose a mesh front like some cases we have seen. The Cooler Master MasterCase H500 RGB Computer Case comes to mind.
The sides are attached with thumb screws. Simply unscrew the screws and take the sides off. Put them to one side in a safe place. Build is pretty simple. Power Supply goes in the bottom. It would be hard to not know how to build in this case. There are three 2.5 mm bays attached on one side each with thumb screws that can be put where you want them on that side. Note, it would have been nice to be able to put them on the opposite side should you wish.
There is much to be desired in the way of tidy cabling. With the glass panels, you are going to see a rat's nest of cables because of the way they have not planned ahead for this. This is real shame. The cables from the front can't go under the motherboard and then there is that issue with the Audio Cable and USB cable in rainbow colours. You will also have to contend with the Power Supply cables showing because there is no guard to hide it. This is a real shame because this case has so much going for it but who wants to spend more time hiding wires than it takes in a normal build plus installation of the OS?
One more thing to note is the top panel, very little ventilation here! Small, confined spaces and things that get hot need adequate cooling. This combined with the one 200mm fan provided make me uneasy.
We were told the RRP is £79.49 but have found it for sale at around the £100 (inc Vat) mark.
There is so much about this case that I like. There's plenty of room, You can pretty much customize things. However, there are a few downers on it as well. As mentioned above, the rainbow colours on the audio and USB 2.0 cables, no way to do tidy cabling, the PSU cabling is going to look a right mess. I'm not sure that ThermalTake have thought this through in some ways and that is a shame. Personally I would have liked to have seen an option for a glass front or mesh front like in the Cooler Master MasterCase H500 RGB Computer Case. I'm sure that someone would enjoy it despite its quirks but it's a no for me. -- Jenni
The ThermalTake Level 20 VT, if setup correctly, can look quite stunning,and TermalTake could take things to a whole new level with a few alterations. The idea for four glass sides that are interchangeable is unique. But, because of these 4 glass sides it's easy to see where its flaws are. Cable Management or lack of is a major letdown, as well as no shroud to hide the PSU or PSU cables. You are only able to position the water cooler radiator or fans on the left or right of a side and not in the centre and this can make the computer look a bit too asymmetrical. Don't get me wrong, its not a bad case. It's just going to need a lot of time spending on cable management. If you make computers for a living then you will have to make sure you bill extra for spending more time sorting the cabling out. Some form of ducting would be nice in the case as well as some cutouts around the motherboard try and an option of hiding the PSU compartment. -- Phil
Stand out point: Interchangeable glass.
The concept of the case is a good one.
Interchangeable glass panels.
Pretty much able to design it to your wishes.
Removable 2.5 and 3.5 inch bays.
Can be positioned which ever way you want. *upside down, sideways etc*
No real good way to do tidy cabling as you can see through the glass and there is no place to put cables through to the motherboard without it looking a mess.
The Audio and USB 2.0 cables both have rainbow wires showing. They could have done with making sure this was covered with a boot of some sort. As it is it looks a mess.
Could have done with more fans.
It could have had more ventilation.
They got a Silver Award for this product.