Cougar Challenger review -
Final words and conclusion
Cougar has a fun chassis at hand with the Challenger. The build quality is actually pretty good and feature wise you will not have anything to complain about for a mid-tower chassis in this price range. Honestly, we are talking like 69 USD after a rebate here. Very little is wrong with the Challenger really, but obviously we did stumble into a thing or two explained in this conclusion. You get a matte black designed chassis with feature wise options to put in many HDDs and devices. The chassis is fairly tool free. Big bonus is the top side hot swappable HDD mount. But that really needs some sort of cover though, as it could very well be a dust magnet. Also removing a HDD from the dedicated hot-swappable bay can be ... a challenge ... notice my pun there ;) Seriously though, the dedicated hot-swappable bay should have had some sort of eject functionality.
The inside of the chassis has everything you need and look for with a mid tower chassis and there is enough space to maneuver in. Cable routing options are sufficient as well, we spot three grommet holes and roughly 20mm space at the backside for cable routing. The HDD/SSD drive cages work simple enough, place your SSD/HDD in a drive tray and slide it in. It's that simple. As long as you like the style, the looks are fine I guess. But again, the design is not my cup of tea. I like flat, simple and stylish. This front bezel design has a little too much going on for my taste, but again, taste is subjective. What you'll agree on with me is that this surely is a complete chassis for its size. I mean this mid-tower offers plenty of features and plenty of cooling options. You can fit seven fans in here. There's room for a cool seven 3.5" HDDs from which you can convert 3 to 2.5" for SSDs, is has two USB 3.0 ports, seven expansion slots and support for even the largest of graphics cards.
The paint job is done well. The black design simply works for me. But here once again each and every individual is different, and thus so is taste. What I might be tagging as good look, you might find ugly. I like clean, simple and stylish. Cougar does the opposite. The Challenger chassis is however offered in three color themes: white, black, and orange.
Right, let's finish up this conclusion then. Feature wise the Challenger chassis is complete really. Overall it is a decent, sturdy build with the big plus of being a silent chassis. You'll receive the front fan installed and you'll receive a high performance low noise Vortex fan that can be mounted in the rear of in the side panel, your choice. The two fans offer decent airflow. The included fans are PWM ready, so you can regulate them though your motherboard or a fan controller (not included). The Cougar Challenger does have a few quirks to be honest. See, there are two included air filters, but the rest of the chassis has a lot of meshes allowing dust to pull in anyway. Also the top dedicated how-swappable HDD bay will be a compartment that lures in dust, it really could have used a cover or something. All in all these are minor inconveniences. Looking at prices you'll spot them for 75 USD with rebates going as low as 60 USD. In the EU though the prices seem inflated and start at 90 EUR or £90 in the UK, which will make this chassis a tough sell in a very saturated channel. Realistically it is a lot of chassis with heaps of features and as such we do recommend it. But the aesthetics, of course, are the decisive factor, and for the EU market, that likely is a bit of a challenge.
In this review we have a peek at the Cougar Challenger, a mid-tower chassis that is loaded with options, and hey .. it's priced quite competitive as well. It's different alright. The CHALLENGER mid-tower case is particularly targeting gamers demanding for huge upgradeability capacity, best airflow and optimized ventilation characteristics.