The Cosmos II was designed with inspiration from super cars, and nowhere on the case is this quite as prominent as the front panel, which has a "V" shape and a pseudo-honeycomb grill structure like the front of a Lamborghini. Many cases have doors which open via a hinge, but Coolermaster has chosen to go with a very elegant sliding door design, and also made it out of aluminum. The door is separated from the drive bays enough where airflow isn't impeded when it's "retracted" to expose the drive bay. The front door has a clean hexagon-shaped Coolermaster logo, and when retracted reveals the drive bay covers which are adorned in the same honeycomb shape as the front grill. The front intake is fully filtered, and is easily cleaned by removing the front cover. Every other intake on the Cosmos II is also filtered, and we'll touch on those as we get there.
A great little surprise (the first of many) is found underneath in that there are two lockable hot-swap drive bays in the bottom two slots of the 5.25" drive bay. These covers are subtly vented to allow airflow over the hot-swap drives ,a detail which could easily be overlooked. The front panel looks very clean, and the sliding mechanism is a very elegant solution in both form and function to the more traditional hinged front door. The details in the panel and the design really looks as though it came out of a supercar design shop, and Coolermaster has hit a sweet spot in terms of simplicity in its styling that still catches the eye.
Another surprise was how the Cosmos II's front input panel was executed by Coolermaster. The top portion of the front of the case has the I/O panel which includes 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, and e-SATA port, two USB 3.0 ports, and four USB 2.0 ports. You'll see that much of what the Cosmos II succeeds at is in the details, and the top panel cover and the primary control panel. The top cover, which has an edgy shape similar to the front panel, again reminds us of a Lambo. The top cover has a dual-action spring you might have used on a sliding phone, so a small push springs the door open, revealing the control panel underneath, and a nudge in the opposite direction springs it closed again. The sliding mechanism is smooth and well thought out.
The front panel also houses more of those details we'll be talking alot about. The buttons have a feel and texture which is exactly like the original Droid RAZR of fame. They have a soft push, not a mechanical switch like most cases. The control panel also has a built-in fan controller which allows three speed settings, and the speed settings are indicated by a different LED color. The LEDs may also be toggled on or off as you please.
The doors swing open as though the Cosmos II has butterfly doors, and one of the first things we'd like to do to this case is to fabricate a dual-actuating hinge to accomplish the butterfly-door motion (with the help of hydraulics) for a full-on supercar appeal.
The top panel also has a honeycomb mesh supported by the same pseudo-honeycomb grills as the front panel. The entire case flows together very well, and its themed design sacrifices nowhere, and the top panel follows suit. The top also has two swooping aluminum tubes extending above and a bit to the side of the chassis. These are handles which provide two very key functions, one is to actually be able to carry the case (like we said, nearly 50 lbs empty), and second is to allow it to sit on its side (or top, for that matter) and prevent its weight from damaging the case, or producing scratches. So when the case sits, it actually rests on these handles. And I'd like to extend props to Coolermaster for being able to pull of these handles and having them not stick out like a sore thumb, they really work with the rest of the design, which, I'm sure, was no easy task.
The top cover is also easily removable by removing one thumbscrew to expose the upper portion of the chassis. The I/O panel is easily removable with two additional thumbscrews, which reveals a large amount of cabling to support all of the control and input panel's functionality. Each cable is individually removable from the circuit board if it's not in use, which is fantastic when cable management comes into play. Luckily, there's plenty of room for cable management if all cables are in use.
The top panel also shows support for 360 or 240 mm radiators or three 120 mm, two 140 mm, or one 200 mm fans, which leaves you with many cooling options, especially for fully integrated watercooling setups. The top of the case isn't the only location where radiators will fit, as we'll show later.