Lian Li Lancool II Review – The Ultimate Mid-Tower?
Peter Donnell / 11 months ago
The Lian Li Lancool One is by far one of the coolest cases on the market right now, check out our review here. Not only did it show their rivals that is can compete or beat them on quality, but they also smashed it on price too. How could Lian Li top that one? They go one louder, that’s how! The Lancool II was something we saw earlier this year at Computex 2019, and we loved it so much, we gave it one of our Best of Computex 2019 Awards. This many features for such a modest price? Oh boy, am I happy to have this one in the office today!
Lian Li Lancool II
It’s pretty much flooded with premium features despite being priced (slightly) under £100. It features dual tempered glass side panels mounted on lift-off hinges. Then you have a built-in PSU shroud, which also features flip down side panels for quick access to the hidden HDD bays. There are mounting covers to hide all the cable management behind the motherboard. Then you have the plentiful radiator and fan support, there’s built-in RGB, there are pre-installed fans, and so much more. Plus, you can really make it your own, as Lian Li has a range of cool aftermarket parts for it too; we’ll price those up on the final page of the review and YES we do have them all here to play with too!
- Hinged Tempered Glass Panels
- Flip-Down Shrouds
- Cable Management Hiding Panels
- PSU Shroud
- Hidden Storage Bays
- Supports up to 280/360mm radiator
- Supports up to Eight Fans
- Pre-Installed Fans
- Addressable RGB Front Panel
- Vertical GPU kit
- Side diffused aRGB strip
- HDD/SSD Hot-swap kit
- USB 3.1 Type C cable for Lancool II
- VGA anti-sag bracket
What Lian Li Had to Say
“Multifunctional, equipped with all mainstream features, LANCOOL II is born to cater to the market’s demand for a high-performance case at a fair and reasonable price. Available in black for US$89 and white for US$94.99, LANCOOL II is not just ideal for consumers with a tight budget but also perfect for any builders aiming to create the PC of their dream.” – Lian Li
The Lian Li Lancool II looks fantastic from the moment you take it out of the box. What really stands out, or more so, doesn’t stand out is the finish. It has a lightly textured matte black paint job that’s not particularly reflective. It’s actually quite stealthy, at least until you see the reflections on the glass. Because it’s all blacked out on the interior, it does make it a mirror when you have no interior lighting. However, that’ll all change once the system is built.
The front panel looks fantastic, but it’s the little details that add up here though. The front panel has an angular design but mixes rounded edges on the sides and more bold angles further in. The same with the ventilation, which uses lots of straight lines, but also some soft curves. The end result looks both aggressive and sleek at the same time, and I love it.
Tucked into the lower section, you’ll find a small Lian Li logo. I love that they’ve done this, it’s a lot less in your face and keeps the front panel looking clean. Plus, you can see those large feet are giving the case amazing ground clearance too.
The front panel has a few more tricks that aren’t immediately apparent. There’s a set of high-quality dust filters behind it, as well as some cool RGB lighting effects, but we’ll get to that shortly.
On the top, you’ll find a huge magnetic dust filter, as well as the front I/O panel.
The I/O is pretty much all blacked out too, with black power controls, and even the USB ports are black rather than blue on the interior.
Under the dust filter, you’ll find plentiful options for mounting a wide range of fans and radiators. Plus, there are options to move them closer or further from the motherboard, improving compatibility with boards that have large VRM cooling.
Down the right side of the case, you’ll find it looks pretty much identical to the left. Another hinged tempered glass window so it looks just as cool from either side!
Plus, there’s another exposed section of the PSU shroud, which opens out; you’ll see that in a moment.
Around the back, it’s business as usual. This is an ATX mid-tower after all, so it has to meet those requirements.
There is a height-adjustable fan/radiator mount, which features a pre-installed exhaust fan.
Below that, there are seven expansion slots, each fitted with reusable metal covers. What I love is that they feature the same perforated design as the front panel vents; it’s the little details that count.
The PSU mount is located at the bottom, under the built-in PSU shroud.
The case comes with some pretty cool features that you typically don’t see in this price range. The PSU shroud can be accessed from either side of the case without the use of tools. It’s held shut by some properly strong magnets, so just give it a tug and it pulls down. This gives you access to the HDD bays, PSU area, etc.
There are three tool-free drive trays here. Plus, if you buy the optional HDD mount, you can make all of these hot-swappable; handy if you’re building a server.
Once you pull down that lower shroud door, you can then get your hand under the glass and open out the side panel. They’ve on hinges, and also held shut with strong magnets. So no tools, and quick and easy access to your rig. Plus, if you need to, you can lift the glass up off the hinges and put it to one side.
There’s loads of room in here too, as all the HDD bays are tucked out of the way. This is good news for those wanting to install huge graphics cards and thick radiators.
The PSU shroud features loads of ventilation on the top, and there’s even a couple of 120mm mounts on there should you really need them. Plus, there are two massive cable routing cut-outs, so getting cables to the motherboard shouldn’t be an issue.
There’s plenty of width in the case to accommodate wider graphics cards, as well as any custom loop hardware. I love that there’s a slight cut-out to the back of the frame too, allowing your screwdriver to easily reach those screws.
In the back, there’s a 120mm Lian Li fan pre-installed. It’s all blacked out, rather than RGB, but it does have some rubber anti-vibration mounts too, it’s a good quality fan overall. Plus, there’s another located on the top too.
There’s a third one in the front also. That’s pretty sweet to get three pre-installed. However, I think I’d take the top one and put it as two fans in the front, but that’s just me.
The front panel will hold a massive radiator should you need it. The shroud does restrict the size, but there’s a removable panel here so you can really go to town with full-height and thick radiators.
Building my demo system inside the Lancool II was an absolute joy. You quickly appreciate the engineering that has gone into making this a truly brilliant PC case. Such as the motherboard mounting, as my MSI board was just too damn wide. Then I remembered, you can move the cable routing!
The panel to the right of the motherboard is designed for ATX. However, undo the two screws, flip it upside down and it now supports E-ATX. This way, the cable routing is right next to the motherboard in either configuration.
Then we have the fantastic RGB. Of course, most of the lighting is coming from our own hardware. However, the front panel RGB still throws a lot of light into the case too.
The cable routing options are superb though. There are cable channels just about everywhere. The only one I would like to add is one below the GPU to give that a shorter run, but that’s hardly a deal-breaker. Plus, we have a few more options anyway, which I’ll get to shortly.
Big CPU cooler? That’s not a problem. Even the massive Noctua NH-D15S fit with ease despite being enormous.
The same goes for our massive RTX 2070 from AORUS. There’s more than enough length for the largest gaming cards on the market. Plus, you have plenty of room for a good size radiator in the front. However, there’s plenty of airflow for a good air-cooled build too.
Then there is the staggering beauty of that front panel RGB. You can control it directly from your motherboard or RGB hub too. However, there’s a button on the front panel to cycle through colours and effects too should you need it.
With all the glass back in place, this really is a properly-well sorted out PC case. Of course, it gets EVEN BETTER!
Just look at that cable routing! Well, lack of it. It looks like a bomb went off behind the panels, but hey, you can’t see the crappy cable routing I did, because it’s hidden. How brilliant is that! Oh and yes, it gets even better still.
Oh and here’s the window back in place, but let’s keep going.
Complete System – But Even Better
Lian Li threw us a full set of the optional components for this build. You’ve got the Type C cable for the front panel, how-swappable backplate, LED strip and anti-sag bracket here.
This one didn’t have a retail box includes. However, it’s clearly the vertical GPU mount and riser cable.
The LED strip just plugs right into the cases extra RGB header, so it’ll pair with the front lighting. The USB Type-C cable speaks for its self though, as does the little GPU anti-sag bracket.
Need to swap out your HDD or SSD’s in a hurry? I don’t, but if you’re running a server and need to switch a drive with no downtime, then this is for you. Just screw it in behind the HDD cage, and your drives become plug and play.
It even comes with some nice SATA cables and plastic light rails for the trays so you can see the drive active LEDs from the front when you flip down the side panel; neat!
So it’s only right we threw in some of the equipment and spruced up our build. Now we have the lighting strip throwing even more light into the case. However, that AORUS GPU has an amazing cooler design, and now it’s on show for all of the world to see!
How Much Does it Cost?
The Lian Li Lancool II is available now with an MSRP of just $89.99 for the black model and $94.99 for the white model. Plus, you can get the vertical GPU kit for just $49.99, which is decent given the build quality, riser cable, etc. The aRGB strip is just $11.99, the Hot-Swap kit is $14.99, the Type-C cable $11.99 and the anti-sag kit is just $7.99. Honestly, though, most of you won’t need the optional gear, but it’s certainly nice to have options. You can check for up to date UK prices here and US here.
I already knew this is one of the best cases I’ve ever seen. As I said in the introduction, I spend some time tinkering with one in Taiwan when we visited Lian Li’s booth at Computex 2019. We even gave it an award there and then. Boy, how embarrassing it would be if it didn’t earn one today and we hated it. Fortunately, Lian Li has nothing to worry about, I love this case even more today than I ever did before. I’m already thinking I need two more of them to replace all the other cases in the house… yup, I really do like it.
Lian Li has always been at the cutting edge when it comes to fantastic case designs. They may have stepped back from only making them from Aluminium, but honestly, it’s the best thing they ever did. This case is every bit as well made as the super expensive behemoths of years gone by. However, this one is affordable to you and me, and still delivers the premium features we would expect on a case twice the price.
The panels snap and lock into place firmly, the thumbscrews don’t snap up on the panels, the dust filters are robust and easily accessed. Even little things like the uber-strong magnetic side panel mounts. It’s all in the details, and there’s plenty of them here.
Not sure why the type-C cable isn’t standard though, but I guess they really wanted to keep the price below $100 right out of the box. Order that cable when you buy one, it’s a good idea to have it I think.
It’s a great looking case, and I dare anyone to deny that. Sure, style is very subjective, but for current market trends, I think the Lancool II is perfectly in tune with today’s market. A big of RGB, tempered glass and lots of ease of use features to help it handle the latest and greatest hardware. Not only that but also present and showcase that hardware with style.
Should I Buy One?
Honestly, I can’t think of a case of this quality. It’s not something that translates into pictures, but it has a robust and reassuring build quality that makes it a joy to use. It’s a stunning design, easy to use, plenty of features, and there are some interesting optional extras. Easily one of the best cases ever made and I really mean EVER made.