Microcool has obviously gone to great lengths to produce a benching case that is as attractive and stylish as it is functional. Just like the automobiles and motorcycles that come from Italy, the Benchetto 101 offers lots of performance and sex appeal, some may even call it a work of art. The combination of flat black and mirrored chrome with crystal clear polished acrylic makes for a wonderful contrast, and the thick pedestal feet, three layered shelves, motherboard standoffs and thumbscrews lend a rugged, solid appearance.
Unfortunately the Benchetto suffers from a high susceptibility to scratches, and the nature of combining two dissimilar types of pieces, aluminum and acrylic, coupled with the modular format of the component brackets, lends itself to causing even more damage and gives the whole chassis a somewhat unstable feel. This version of the case reportedly addresses this failing of the original design and gives the structure more rigidity, however they definitely have not completely eliminated it.
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the Benchetto is the price. I found it advertised online at numerous retailers for right at $250. That's a high price to pay for any computer case, much less one that's missing all of its exterior panels, lacks any included cooling fans and has issues with scratching easily. As a reviewer looking for a benching case to use, not as my primary computer but for component testing and such, my main concerns would be functionality, durability and price, and the Benchetto in my opinion only meets one of these. When paying that kind of money I'd want to be very careful and handle it gently to avoid damaging its looks, and that's simply counterproductive to testing/benchmarking.
Now one application I haven't mentioned that I could see the Benchetto 101 doing very well at would be possibly in a home theater environment or some form of display such as a computer show, convention or even sitting on a glass table or desktop at home where you want to incorporate your computer into the artistic design of the room. Just as some people consider Italian sports cars or motorcycles as much works of art as they are performance machines, I'm sure there are those who would want the Benchetto simply for its style. My only recommendation to them is be very careful installing your hardware and don't move it around much.
OCIA.net has awarded the Microcool.it Benchetto 101 case our Bronze Seal of Approval.