Today we had the pleasure of reviewing the Montech AIR 1000 LITE entry-level front mesh ATX case. With the Air 1000 Lite, Montech has released a well-polished entry-level ATX mid-tower. It’s priced at an appealing price point of $69.99 on Amazon and Newegg online, making it appealing for any modern computer builder. You do have to keep this price and product positioning in mind when talking about its features and cooling ability.
Summary of Features
We like the hinged left-side glass window panel, with no drilled holes it holds up better structurally. It’s easy to remove and work with giving quick access to the inside of the case. The three fans pre-installed are high quality and they are quiet at max RPM, around 1100RPM on our testing, and silent during idle load levels. The rear 120mm fan position can be shifted vertically, allowing flexibility of placement, especially for 120mm AIO radiators.
The front filter is well hidden, and we give Montech props for being able to conveniently clean them, they are all easily removable. The PSU mount has accommodation for multiple PSU orientations, which is nice. The PSU compartment also has isolation stands to limit vibrations, which is a nice touch. The right side panel also uses captive thumb screws, which is a fine detail we always like to see.
While Montech’s pre-installed fans are very quiet across their operating range, they do tend to produce audible noises when supplied with too little voltage to spin. Various whining noises that resemble distorted crying as well as chirping noises that resemble crickets were heard during testing.
These noises were dealt with by finding a minimum voltage or duty cycle setting in the motherboard BIOS or fan control software to keep Montech’s fans spinning between 500RPM and 600RPM. At these speeds the fans are inaudible. The fans are DC also, and now PWM, so without a fan controller there is no intelligent control there. Of course, you can also just install your own fans, and have full control over the type of cooling in this case.
We feel this case would be a bit more appealing if it had a Type-C connector atop the case, but at this price point, it depends. It is a feature that would elevate the case, however. The expansion slot screws are not thumbscrews, but in a case of this price point perhaps that is a bit over the price point, at least the side panel screws are captive thumbscrews.
We can always use more rubber grommets and velcro for cable routing, but what you get here is sufficient for entry-level. The cable routing space behind the motherboard tray is limited, and many power supplies that bundle the 24-pin ATX cable into one round sheath can make reinstalling the right-side panel difficult. The Power supply mount is centered, leaving significant space on the left side, while the cutouts above the power supply are too narrow to pass typical plugs, cables would need to be routed before the power supply is locked in place.
The Montech Air 1000 Lite is fit for enthusiast use, presenting excellent stock cooling performance and noise floor in stock configuration while presenting plenty of options for cooling expansion according to our testing. It also has the ability for expansion and customization in cooling if you are not happy with its default performance.
In our testing, we did not find any major issue when running a standard configuration or customizing the fans in the case. Only in the most specific situations would that be an issue, and even then, Montech has done the right thing and is offering customers the ability to get a new re-designed front mesh for their cases. It’s great to see such a prompt, honest, and well-made fix from a company. So if you aren’t happy with the cooling (which again can be overcome with your own custom fans and positioning), there is a method to get a new mesh panel for this case.
At an attractive price that omits the RGB lighting but not the overall fit and finish, the Montech Air 1000 Lite is an entry-level mesh front panel case that we feel is definitely worth consideration, especially at such a competitive price point.