The HighSpeed PC Tech Station is available in two sizes: Standard - 35 x 24cm / 14 x 9.5in and Large - 35 x 33cm / 14x13in. The product itself may already be familiar to some of our US readers but it is new to the UK market so we asked the friendly folk at Kustom PCs
to send us one of each for evaluation.
The kits arrived well packed, wrapping in bubble-wrap inside a heavy-duty box. Can you tell what it is yet?
We started with the Standard kit. Unpacking it revealed a very IKEA-esque collection of parts: several small bags of bits, two large plastic panels, four lengths of square plastic rod, and a 120mm fan with chrome grill. The fan is an Evercool EC12025M12S which is rated for 79.14CFM at 2000rpm, producing 36dBA of roar.
Also included is a 6-page colour manual which has clearly been printed on an inkjet printer. The content looks comprehensive but the presentation a bit home-made, a theme that will sadly continue throughout the testing of this product. The box proudly states "Hand Made in USA!"
and unfortunately, the hand-made-ness is evident right from the get go.
To start with, let's examine the two black sheets of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). They are essentially two oversized Ratpadz - the textured surface is very similar. The overall finish is good but we found burrs on several of the pre-drilled holes, where the machinist hasn't take the time to clear out the excess plastic when they drilled the holes.
After unpacking all of the component parts, our initial impressions were not good. This is a product that costs US$79.99 Stateside and £75 inc VAT here in Britain and yet appears to consists of little more than a few wood screws, two Ratpadz-esque plastic panels and a length of square, nylon rod cut into four pieces.
Of course, it would be unfair to judge the product before it was fully built so we gathered our parts and prepared ourself for assembly. The manual states "a hand screwdriver can be used but a power screwdriver is highly recommended due to the torque needed to get a snug fit between pieces."
Having said that, we don't have power screwdriver in the office, and it seems a little unfair to essentially require
such a tool. If we can build an entire bedroom full of IKEA furniture using a humble household screwdriver, there shouldn't be any reason why the Tech Station should require any more than that.
It was at this point that we noticed that the perspex hard drive rails were missing. The manual freely states that if any parts are missing, you can email HSPC and they will ship you the missing bits. Our thanks to Scott for offering to express some rails to us but going back to the IKEA analogy, when was the last time your flat-pack furniture was missing a major component?
At this point, we decided to set aside the Standard Tech Station and unpack the Large Tech Station and assemble that instead.