DAN A4-SFX: The smallest gaming case in the world

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by dondan, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. dondan

    dondan [H]ard|Gawd

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    prava: Thank you for your feedback. It looks like for future project I have to optimize my campaign in the point of marketing. Too bad that you don't offered you help in the progress of reviewing the campaign 5 weeks before.

    But I think after 1570 sold A4-SFX Cases in the first run the campaign couldn't be as bad as you wrote.

    By the way, sometimes it is better to not get every person directly buy that case since in the first sentence is written Lian Li, because you will get costumers that aren't familiar with computer hardware so that they are not able to buy and assembly the right components. In the end you will have a lot of trouble with these guys and maybe bad publicity. So it is better to have costumers that read the whole campaign and form their opinion. It is the same with the best price hunter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
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  2. Xan-Z

    Xan-Z [H]Lite

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    For measuring this case just pick a measuring rule (a ruler) and you know how small it is.

    You just have the measures and the volumen, what more do you need to know how small it's the case.

    By the way there are many comparison with another cases in this thread, but if people talk about this case without reading a single page of this thread..

    And there are a video in the kickstarter and you can see how much smaller it is compared to a xbox controller.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  3. KarateOC

    KarateOC [H]Lite

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    There may not be a huge diff in footprint size between the ncase and a4 sfx, but in volume in is closer to a 75% diff (7.25L vs 12.6), which does make it somewhat more mobile.

    Despite the native support for water cooling, one other benefits of the a4 sfx that you may have noticed people mention is the greater height allowance for graphics cards compared to the great majority of smaller cases, making taller cards usable (such as MSI gtx 1080 gaming, although this may depend on the power connectors used). Also due to the design where the gpu is in a different compartment getting air directly from outside the case, this allows open air coolers to work better than a number of other sff cases allowing for either less noise or a greater OC.
     
  4. Xan-Z

    Xan-Z [H]Lite

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    prava I'm with you with this:


    ''You have designed the KS it is only interesting to those that were interested in the first place, those that knew the product before you started the campaign. To those you didn't even need to write a single word. Instead, there is a lot of gibberish on the kickstarter but the useful information isn't present.''

    Because Dan already convinced us (People who read HF) to buy the case via this thread, but there are a lot of potential customer out of this forum.

    External people maybe has a lot of questions, because they don't read this forum as i said:

    Why is this case so expensive. How small it is compared to another cases. Temperatures, is this case hot?

    But i wouldn't say that the marketing of the KS it's a 100% disaster. Just need some tweaks.

    Lian Li and 3M should be on top.
    Picks of the Dan A4 SFX compared vs standart ATX vs mATX and vs ITX (Mass produced) + Final pic of the Dan A4 vs M1.
    Temperatures showroom.

    Because this case offer too much, but i know it because i follow this thread, it's the smallest one, with top quality materials, silent, cool, and you can add SFX psu's all ITX boards, full GPU's, 3 HDD / SSD.

    But not all people know this.

    Who need a flexible case? By the way, what's ''flexible'' with any ITX case you know that u need to select the hardware very carefully. For me A4 it's flexible being an ITX case with such small volume.

    No need for dvd reader or external bays, and AIO aren't efficient money/perfomance vs air cooler.

    People who buy ITX don't have AIO as a priority thing.

    Final thing:

    The KS is 95% sould out, that's good.

    The good thing about this is that the project is going to be realized and guess why?

    ''A lot of people'' will build a Dan A4 SFX, the case will be good and all the backers are going to talk good about this case, that's perfect, because the feedback of the first runs will motivate others to buy this case. Because the opinion of 1.000 people who build this case is strong.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  5. bAMtan2

    bAMtan2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    DAN A4-SFX is the smallest gaming case, manufactured by the most expensive case company, using the most expensive PCI-E cable. It's so small that you literally cannot comprehend it, until you see it next to a coke can or the controller. I don't blame the common man for not understanding, because A4-SFX is beyond him.

    I would like to see A4-SFX next to old gaming consoles. Nintendo or Super Nintendo. Or sitting on a magazine. There are many opportunities to show the scale!
     
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  6. crisisv87akd

    crisisv87akd n00b

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    prava My thoughts exactly. I've tried to explain that from a customer point of view and I was hardly criticized here.

    I know how much work was put into this project, and I understand why it is more expensive than other cases, but it is normal that the regular customer thinks that way. And from a commercial point of view those who jump into new users just because they ask something that you already know and was already discussed, it doesn't help DAN to sell more cases. Some of you were waiting for 2 and 3 years, and appreciate Dan's work a lot, I can tell by reading your comments in this post. If you want to help and support Dan for what he's done, then be nice and take the time to explain as many times as needed to new comers, or just step aside if you don't want to. I might be new here but I was waiting as long and even longer than many here for something like this to be real. I've felt in love with the IN-WIN BQ-660 five years ago or more. Of course, the technology at that moment, and the size made it impossible for me to build the powerful mini PC I always wanted.

    I was thinking for hours today going back and forth between the M1 and the A4, and finally I bought your case. Unfortunately I will be out for holidays for 4 months in October, so I won't have the case in my hands until after 6 months :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  7. goldy

    goldy [H]ard|Gawd

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    You can scroll down and see a GPU inside the system which should give you an idea of how tiny the case is. The video also shows it next to an XBOX controller, which again, should give you an idea of the small size. The title is also "The World's Smallest Gaming Tower Case". You can scroll down and see the price breakdown chart. You can scroll down and see the partners. Where is the "marketing" failure here? I think it's just people are lazy and don't want to read through an entire page to understand the project, which I can understand.

    Just fix the page presentation to cater to the lazy. Most people look at something really quick and leave. I remember reading an article about Youtube videos, where if the video doesn't start playing in like 10 seconds, people leave. Or how a large percentage of people watch a 5 minute video for 30 seconds and then leave. People have developed a really short attention span for online content.

    My suggestion, move all that stuff listed to the "About this project" section. That should be a nice little TLDR section rundown of the project for the lazy. It's much more important information to be viewed than a flashy Photoshop render.
     
  8. illram

    illram [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have a different take than prava. This case is a niche within a niche within a niche. (Mini-ITX-->USFF-->indie USFF kickstarter!) The kickstarter was primarily circulated among people interested in one or two or all of those niches, and among those people, the response to this case has been resoundingly positive. In other words among people who actually live in this space and buy things in this space and are knowledgeable about things in this space, the case was a tremendous success. In other words among people who know what the fuck they are talking about this case was a grandslam. I would be very pleased if I were dondan about that because we are a fairly picky bunch.

    The "general public" of PC buyers and builders might not "get" it and so what? There is no water cooling, there are no big CPU coolers, there is no big time OC'ing going on in here. Those users need not apply, and they never will apply, so why bother trying to "explain" it to them. Who cares.If someone is hell bent on buying a pickup truck, good luck explaining to them that really, they should buy a Tesla.

    This also goes to trying to explain the price. You can't explain it with just features. This is another thing that is just part of existing in the niche. Yes, the riser is expensive, yes, it's all aluminum...but that marketing explanation would not change the video review everyone is talking about here, because those features don't address the issue that this case is simply not for everyone. The 1300 or so people who get one (myself included) are all buying one knowing we are paying a first time user tax of sorts.

    It's expensive in large part because it is a one man kickstarter show and it is unique. There is literally nothing else like this currently, except for MSI's inferior Nightblade or whatever that POS was called. And we are all paying a premium for this case now. It could very well be cheaper later, but goddammit I want it now! So for this first round, I am going to stare at the two beautiful A4's I ordered and part of my giddiness is definitely going to arise from knowing that hardly anyone else in the world has one of these masterpieces.

    tl;dr: screw the haters! :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  9. crisisv87akd

    crisisv87akd n00b

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    illram While you are right in many of your points, Dan has to think about the future (I'm sure he does). Thanks to those in this thread who understand and supported Dan; Those who took part on the evolution of the case, who realize that the price is reasonable understanding the reasons, the concept and the work put to this product, others will benefit even if they don't understand and don't appreciate the effort put into it.

    After the successful campaign, Dan's case could go to the production line, making it cheaper for other type of users who won't care about anything happening on this thread of a limited privileged customers who had the amazing opportunity to take part of this project. So, what prava said is true for them.
     
  10. CknSalad

    CknSalad Limp Gawd

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    Prava had really good constructive points made, but I still think that the average PC Builder will find the Ncase M1 to be more attractive due to more storage and cooling options especially having the option to watercool at an already small size to the grand majority of PC builders. I think that highlighting how long it took you, the fact that you are the sole project owner that took in the feedback of the hardcore SFF community while not sacrificing your original vision of this case, the partnership with Lian Li and 3M, as well as size comparisons to Ncase M1 (pictures and numbers) are the main marketing suggestions.
     
  11. M4rk

    M4rk Gawd

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    Dondan, I helped Necere and W360 a little with their marketing for NCASE M1 a couple years ago (time flies). If you need assistance, I would happily offer my time.

    Also I backed the Kickstarter for one black case. ;)

    EDIT: Hopefully Linus' video on the case will clear up a lot of questions for folks who aren't SFF enthusiasts and who haven't followed the production of this case from beginning to end.

    If Linus doesn't go into the limitations of the case, then someone else really ought to.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  12. eggyolk

    eggyolk n00b

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    I gotta agree with prava on all counts. This coming as a follower of this thread for years and a day one KS backer.

    All my computers have been SFF systems, starting with Shuttle boxes. I've always lusted after Lian Li cases, particularly the PC-Q01B, because of the alu construction, but not the layout. Part of the appeal of SFF building is that you're constrained, but can still pack a lot of punch. The A4 nails this all because it's got a unique layout due to the riser cable.

    You gotta get some comparison shots of it with other typical cases, otherwise no one will really appreciate it unless they've been building SFF systems like us.

    I whipped up some comparisons in Solidworks:
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Mmmm you are mixing things here. The A4 was(is) a success because the product is good on itself and has been announced back and forth on the forums were people with such needs, taste and budget spend their time. My point being: the campaign on KS being as bad as it is didn't have such an impact because the case was probably already sold out before you announced it anyway. But since you have the opportunity on KS to market your product... I suggest that, next time, you brainstorm a little or find somebody who does marketing to help you out a bit. For starters, you need to be clear on the main selling points and put them on top. If the product has any major drawback (in this case, price) you should explain it at the very beginning.

    You need to understand that time is money here, and you will have the attention of many people a few seconds... so you better be brief if you want to cause a good impression that makes potential consumers go into the full website and read everything. For the record, everybody does the same. You get a quick overall look at something then decide if its worth your time. If it is, you keep digging... if it ain't, you drop it off. Of course everybody has preconceived ideas that might alter this in some way but, in the end, everybody is willing to listen for 5 seconds.

    Regarding the second outlined text... that is plainly an excuse. Again, you shouldn't be afraid of properly explaining the shortcomings and drawbacks of your design. For what I see, anyway, It doesn't look to be a terribly difficult computer to assemble. Yes, the list of things that work is terribly short... but that isn't something very hard to explain.


    What I wouldn't do is make such wonderful statements:

    Specially since they aren't true or they are too broad to mean anything. Once the case gets saturated with heat (and it will with many, many setups) temperatures will rapidly spike.

    I would never recommend open air coolers in this case. You will saturate the case with heat and will make it into an oven. This is specially true because the case has no active cooling of sorts... so it relies on convection in order to refresh the air inside. I would stay with blowers-only.

    Important information shouldn't be hidden away. Also, it is normal that people have very short attention span. We are targeted by online content thousands of times a day. We would only check for garbage we don't care for if we didn't scan and drop stuff quickly.

    --

    For the record, I'm very happy that the crowdfunding was a success even if the product isn't for me. Just trying to point out that marketing is very important if you plan to sell anything. And having a wall of text and a few pictures isn't marketing.
     
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  14. QuantumBraced

    QuantumBraced Gawd

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    I love Paul and Kyle, but they got SO MUCH wrong. It's okay if it's their first time seeing the case, but they could have at least read a bit of the information on the page, or used their brains a little before they started talking. And they're clearly not up to speed on the SFF world, I mean they do mostly huge watercooled systems so it's not their niche, but it's such a huge booming sector right now, they really have to get caught up. Any SFF-savvy person would immediately look at the volume of the case, then look at the clearances/compatibility and then proceed with conclusions from there.

    Dan, maybe it would be a good idea for the future to replace that stock cooler gallery with one featuring the C7, and while you're at it put the biggest graphics card that can fit, just to showcase the biggest components the case can fit.
     
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  15. cowsgomoo2

    cowsgomoo2 Limp Gawd

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    In this case, the active cooling fans ARE the CPU and GPU fans because they're situated at the case holes, so they force air into the case with air pressure. The elevated air pressure in the case causes the now-warmer air inside the case to be forced out in all directions. It has nothing to do with convections.
     
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  16. QuantumBraced

    QuantumBraced Gawd

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    "Unless you want a case much smaller for some reason" - that is the main reason you would want this case, and the main reason over 1000 people have bought it. That's essentially the point of the case. It makes very little sense to buy it otherwise. The case is OPTIMIZED for size, NOT versatility. the M1 is optimized for versatility. This is why we have different products in a free market, so you can pick the one that you prefer/need. Should Dan have done a better job promoting the case's size in his marketing? Yes. Has he done an awful job? I don't think so. It's pretty easy for people looking for a tiny case to find the A4-SFX. But it could be easier for people not knowing they want a tiny case yet to be persuaded by marketing. Having a better gallery with more comparison images would certainly help. A better website in general would certainly help. But all in due time. Dan is one guy who tried to get a project funded through Kickstarter and guess what -- it was funded several times over. I call that a success. For the next batch, there are certainly areas of improvement we can talk about, marketing being one. I'm also willing to volunteer my time to help with those efforts, I already did with proofreading for Dan.

    Speaking of marketing, here's a point I haven't seen anyone make that I think makes a lot of sense for the future:

    Accessibility should be emphasized in marketing, alongside with size. SFF cases often sacrifice accessibility for size - look at the SilverStone SG13 or the NCase M1. Both great cases at their price points. But to achieve their small sizes, things are crammed and difficult to access. With the A4-SFX, all 3 components are at your fingertips. So it's not only compact, it's very practical. And it showcases your components better. The GPU looks much better oriented this way. In fact, some kind of vented acrylic + hinged panels would make this case an absolute aesthetic and practical monster, although I realize that's sci-fi at this stage.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  17. The Fragile

    The Fragile Limp Gawd

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    Yeah it was really unprofessional and they were clearly unprepared to talk about it at all.
     
  18. jjsyht

    jjsyht [H]Lite

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    I think prava's advice is not applicable for THIS campaign.
    Whether it was intentional or not on Dan's part, the KS campaign attracted only ones who know what they needed in that case.

    Like someone said, a broader audience would bring people who will not be satisfied with this case, thus have negative views on Dan & the company. In a way, a smaller, more focused audience is better for something as new and compromising as this case.
    This focused group will give better feedback of 1st batch/version, thus better in the long run for Dan's image. It will also be less stressful for Dan and he would then be able to concentrate on the next step instead of dealing with customers queries and complaints.

    BUT when dan is ready for a full run, ready to handle a Large customer base (with lots of questions and complaints), prava's advice are all excellent points.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  19. crisisv87akd

    crisisv87akd n00b

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    jjsyht The thing is, the campaign is almost finished and it was already successful for users like you and I. But Youtube videos and any marketing from now on will be with views to the future and not with views to the kickstarter campaign, that's why prava is right.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Not really. The cpu fan won't completely work as an intake: that would only happen if it was touching the side panel. If it isn't it will take air from whatever has less restriction, which means that it will probably be air from inside the case. The gpu... well, if it is a blower card, then the card will feed itself... but won't offer any sort of airflow to the rest of the case. And if isn't a blower... then it will depend on the cards ability to evacuate the air outside.

    I only wrote what I wrote in response to the comments against the youtube commenters. Based solely on the KS campaign their comments are spot on.

    Why would you claim such thing? IMO, it isn't that hard to know what you are getting into. If you have the money and the case aesthetics makes it into your brain... what there is not to understand about the case? It isn't like you need very expensive tools or technical knowledge to mount it... you only need to understand what components the sheer dimensions of the case forces you to use.
     
  21. raazman

    raazman [H]Lite

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    Dondan tested the temps already and they look good. There will be no space in the case for warm air to sit and recirculate. Go back and read up on Dondan's testing. You'll find that what you're saying is not true. The fans will be located up against the vents, directly blowing air out of the case. The space between the fans and the interior of the case comes down to only milometers worth of space.

    And related to marketing this case, Dondan did a fine job. His customer audience wasn't the general audience or even YouTubers. His audience was people who wanted to build an sffpc and have the resources to start the manufacturing of this case. Once he's able to get a deal for cheaper cases in mass production, then he can cater the marketing to the average Joe. This project was more of an inside, personal project. Now that Dondan has traction he can focus marketing to people who don't know what this case is about.
     
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  22. TunnelVision

    TunnelVision n00b

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    Both Paul and Kyle have built Mini-ITX systems on their channels so really should have done better.
     
  23. bAMtan2

    bAMtan2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I like the scale images people are making, but THIS is closer to what I see: http://i.imgur.com/4gEpfB9.jpg ;)
     
  24. dondan

    dondan [H]ard|Gawd

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    In the Updates area of the campaign I made this scale compared to my hands some weeks ago:
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    [​IMG]
    Just couldn't stop myself :D

    What's wrong with this photo?? I still can't figure this out..
     
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  26. shinjinian

    shinjinian [H]Lite

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    I swear I'm tempted to buy one and build a second rig that I don't need lol. It's a damn shame it doesn't have enough room for 3.5" drives. I have no problem downsizing the cooler and running at stock clocks but I can't give up the 8tb's of storage my two drives give me.
     
  27. asterix_1

    asterix_1 n00b

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  28. dtallon13

    dtallon13 [H]Lite

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    Get this enclosure or something similar. Yes, it's external, but you can still set it up to use only one power cable. Just snip the DC connectors off the wall warts and wire them to the computer PSU.
     
  29. crisisv87akd

    crisisv87akd n00b

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    shinjinian I'm buying 2TB 7200RPM 2.5'' HDD I've seen enterprise editions on ebay :D
     
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  30. KarateOC

    KarateOC [H]Lite

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    If you want 8tb of space you can get 2*4gb 2.5" drives as per the link below and install them below a SFX (not sfx-l) PSU. Other possibilities are running your 3.5"s in a external NAS or external enclosure of some sort.
    Amazon.com: Samsung Momentus 4TB SATA III 5400 RPM 2.5-inch Hard Drive (ST4000LM016 ): Computers & Accessories
     
  31. dtallon13

    dtallon13 [H]Lite

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    Be careful with these. Some bigger 2.5" drives are twice as thick as normal 2.5" drives. I don't know if the A4 supports 15mm drives, it might only support 7mm drives.
     
  32. shinjinian

    shinjinian [H]Lite

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    Holy smokes. They made 4tb in a 2.5" drove happen a lot sooner then expected. That might be an option of two of them will fit in the A4
     
  33. cowsgomoo2

    cowsgomoo2 Limp Gawd

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    The bottom bracket supports 15mm, total space between an SFX PSU, cables taken into account, and the bottom of the case is 39mm according to Dondan, so two 15mm drives should fit. The front allows for another 2TB HDD or SSD.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
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  34. crisisv87akd

    crisisv87akd n00b

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    The HDD I mentioned is my choice because (though expensive) is the maximum capacity I've found for 2.5'' 7200 RPM, the height according to the official site is 15mm.
     
  35. rude

    rude n00b

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    Dan,

    Why will the MSI 1080 X not fit, but you say the MSI ARMOR OC will?

    Their connectors are in the same position and they are the same width???

    Thanks,
     
  36. Ooops

    Ooops n00b

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    Not the same height ...
     
  37. rude

    rude n00b

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    The problem is the connector position though according to the previous posts.
     
  38. KarateOC

    KarateOC [H]Lite

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    Well it looks like the case may now be a little cheaper for some people depending where they live. Hopefully the EURO strengthens before you have to pay for the major expenses.

    It might pay to send a reminder email over the weekend to point out that there are only a few days left to order via kickstarter.
     
  39. jhcpw

    jhcpw n00b

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    It is way more expensive for me! The pound has gone to shit.

    Thanks Nigel/Boris...
     
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  40. Pantera_666

    Pantera_666 [H]Lite

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    Sorry if it's been asked before, but when does kickstarter ask us about shipping adress and stuff??? Will it be before of after the payment on the 28th???