It has been four years since Cooler Master introduced its "CM Storm" sub-brand which now has a strong selection of enthusiast products including keyboards, mice, mouse pads, headsets and of course cases. Currently, the CM Storm family of chassis includes the Sniper, Scout, Stryker, Enforcer, and Trooper – the latter two have found tremendous value, especially the $ 80 Enforcer.
Cooler Master updated one of their existing designs and recently launched another enthusiastic CM Storm chassis, the Scout 2, which costs just $ 90 – slightly less than the venerable HAF 922. Despite its relatively low price, the Scout has 2 Much to offer, including ergonomic, steel-reinforced handles, USB 3.0 support and space for up to two SSDs, nine fans and any graphics card.
While we reviewed several Cooler Master cases in 2012, it's been a year since we got our hands on a new CM Storm branded case. That said, that was the CM Storm Trooper, a full tower chassis that's about twice as expensive as the Scout 2 in the middle of the tower that we're going to be looking at today. So it will be interesting to see what the latest offering from Cooler Master holds up in the increasingly competitive space under $ 100.
Cooler Master ships two $ 90 versions of the CM Storm Scout 2: a standard black and a red-gray version – we have the latter in-house. The case is made from a combination of steel, plastic and mesh and has an interior finish as well as a case window to enjoy.
We're not sure how to describe the Scout 2's design. It's clean, yet aggressive, much like other CM Storm cases we've reviewed. We can also say that despite the use of different materials, everything comes together in one cohesive design, which Cooler Master has done well in the past.
Cooler Master has managed to mix steel and plastic like automakers, so you can't really tell what's what. Compared to the original Scout, Cooler Master says that the Scout 2 follows a more "rounded futuristic theme" and we largely agree with that perspective.
It's worth noting that we didn't really care about the looks of the original Scout, possibly because it seemed cheap – and to be fair, at $ 80, it was pretty cheap in the grand scheme of rave chassis. Fortunately, its predecessor looks more lavish than you'd think.
The Scout 2 is a mid-tower and measures 230 x 513 x 517.5 mm (9.1 inches wide, 20.2 inches high and 20.5 inches long). This makes it a bit bigger than the original, but a little lighter at a manageable 8.3 lb). We're not sure how Cooler Master did this, but the case still feels pretty sturdy, so don't worry.
Seen from the front, the facade of the Scout 2 is unique. It hints at the original design, although we think it has been greatly improved. While the original looked more box-shaped with an exposed I / O panel on top, the Scout 2 has a curvier, cleaner appearance that requires more thought.
The I / O control panel is back on top of the chassis. This time, however, it is covered by a door that slides back to reveal four USB ports (two USB 3.0) and two audio jacks. Notably, the eSATA that was present on the original is missing, while the power, reset, and LED buttons are molded into the top of the case behind the I / O control panel and the power indicator is just below the I / O control panel on the Front is the case.
A look at the top of the Scout 2 also reveals a well-integrated handle system with reinforced steel and a rubber coating for easy transport of rigs weighing up to 30 kg.
Under the middle handle is a large double honeycomb grill (a grill with large holes on top of a grill with small holes) which makes for a cool visual effect. The double honeycomb grill is removable. This allows you to install a pair of 120mm top-mounted fans.
The left door has soft curves that are used to create a large raised section with a tinted cabinet window and space for a pair of 120mm fans that would sit behind two honeycomb grills. The opposite side door is practically identical with the obvious exception of the window and fan grilles.
On the back we find that the power supply should be mounted below. There's a 7 + 1 expansion card configuration, and we think it's good that Cooler Master provided this additional slot for expansion I / O brackets.
Above the expansion slots is another 120mm fan grille that comes with a pre-installed 120mm exhaust fan. Further up are two 1-inch water cooling holes with rubber grommets.
If you toss the Scout 2 on its side, you'll see four pretty normal case feet as well as a pair of 120mm fan grilles. Although it is possible to install two 120 mm fans here, as the required mounting holes are available, gamers only ever install one fan in the middle, since the grill on the left is designed as an inlet for the power supply unit.