Hi Barry, can you give us a little introduction for yourself?
Hi, I'm Barry Loynes. My main responsibility at Antec is to deliver Antec products to our users in the UK via key customers. I also support our online retailers with product selection and I'm frequently attending events with them so that I can talk to our customers in person and understand their specific needs.
Could you tell us a bit about Antec's background?
Antec, Inc. is the global leader in high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself markets. Founded in 1986, Antec is recognized as a pioneer in the industry and has maintained its position as a worldwide market leader and international provider of quiet, efficient and innovative products. Antec has also achieved great success in the distribution channel, meeting the demands of quality-conscious system builders, VARs and integrators. Antec is headquartered in Fremont, California, with additional offices in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, as well as in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China and Taiwan. The company's products are sold in more than 40 countries throughout the world.
Antec are probably best known for their Nine Hundred cases. These are focused towards gamers, and as such feature lots of fans, fan mounts and LEDs. These days, cooler and quiet running components are more readily available, is there still a strong demand for high airflow chassis?
Even so, there are gamers or performance enthusiasts who are always looking for highest performance components that push the technology to the limits and they are hot. That is why we still need a high airflow chassis.
Your other line of popular cases is the Performance series. These focus largely on silence and have less flamboyant styling than their gamer counterparts. How do you go about balancing sound proofing and cooling ability in these types of cases?
For the Performance One series, such as P280 or P183, we have a couple of standard methods to quiet down the case while make them a high performance system.
- We use three layers or two layers side and top panels to deadening the sound vibrated from the components especially from the fans.
- Also we use a three layer door to muffle the sound from being leaked to the front where the user is
- We use HDD trays with silicone grommets to absorb the vibration from the HDD which is one of major sound source in a computer.
- We create nice and roomy cable management compartment behind the motherboard tray. Users can hide the cables behind the motherboard tray. A less clogging system is a less noisy system as users can use slower RPM fans.
- Moving the PSU from the top near the CPU to the bottom of the chassis. This is really benefits the whole system very much as the PSU gets its own cooling intake from the bottom instead of sucking hot air from the CPU. PSU at the bottom becomes a standard in the gaming and quiet computing society. However, Antec pioneers this standard in our Performance series first. Nine Hundred series follows.
Antec has recently made a name for itself with its 'H2o Kühler' range of all-in-one liquid coolers. Currently, the top of the range product is the 920. Like some of your rivals, are there any plans to expand this range with larger radiators?
Yes, we have the plan to increase one more member. It is a 240 mm radiator with two PWM fan controlled water cooling system.
The two biggest draws of custom liquid cooling are the cooling ability on tap, and aesthetics. With this in mind, in the future is there an opportunity to offer users different colored tubing, fluids, or even plexi glass pumps/CPU blocks?
The 620, 920 and the latest model that will come out soon are self-contained, one integrated system. The most important benefit is that users are no longer needed to be a handy or geek person to handle the old style tube cutting, fluid filling and water pump installation and timeless water leakage or trouble shooting. I think we will keep this and let not only 2% but 100% of users enjoy the water cooling benefits.
Most recently, Antec launched a new brand of mobile products called a.m.p - can you tell us a little bit about the strategy behind this formation?
We see many of our competitors expanding their product portfolio into already crowded spaces. What seems most logical is moving into computer peripherals and accessories to compliment the current product line. Technology is taking on an increasingly greater role in our lives and is changing the relationship between the user and the device. With the advancements in wireless technology and a change in how people access media, Antec felt there was a space where we could offer products that would help enhance our customers' lifestyles. Antec simply wants to provide products that add convenience and make lives more enjoyable. This market is where we believe Antec can make the greatest impact and help us continue our long and established belief of offering high quality products to our customers.
That sounds excellent. So what are the different products of that a.m.p line?
The a.m.p product line includes two families: a range of mobile audio devices and a series of portable power banks and battery chargers. We have the SP1, afully-portable, Bluetooth-enabled speaker that supports mobile phone functions. Available in three different, vivid color combinations, the SP1 allows users to wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device to the SP1. At the same time the SP1 acts a speakerphone, letting users share conversations and phone calls as well as music. iso is a wireless Bluetooth receiver, paired with active noise cancelling in-ear headphones. iso is available in two color combinations. Then we have gain, a wireless Bluetooth receiver available in five different color combinations and the in-ear headphones dBs with tangle-free, fabric-covered cables. The charging line consists of a variety of USB battery packs and chargers for USB-powered devices like the iPhone, iPad, other smartphones or tablet PCs. One example would be the PowerUp 6000, a slim and sleek, portable USB battery pack that uses high-capacity mAh Japanese cells to quickly charge up a mobile device while on the go.
Thanks for talking to us!