System76's Thelio desktop computers have been notable for three things -- being assembled in the USA, running Linux-based operating systems, and having a largely wooden chassis. Moving forward, the PC will still be assembled in America and ship with a Linux distribution (Ubuntu or Pop!_OS), but it won't necessarily contain any wood.
You see, the computer manufacturer has decided to redesign the chassis to be mostly aluminum, save for a thin accent strip. Actually, while the strip can be made of wood, not all of them are. In other words, it is not a given that a Thelio desktop will contain any wood -- only if you specifically choose a wooden access strip. Some of the strips are instead made of powder-coated aluminum. And yes, you can replace the strip by easily pinching and sliding it off.
"Thelio was given distinct color options to really feel personal to a wide range of personalities, but what happens when your mood changes? The new swappable accents enable users to easily change their machine’s aesthetic; simply nudge the panel down, pull out from the chassis, and press the new panel into place. Changing accents can help users switch mindsets between tasks, wind down after work, or get in the zone before a challenging gaming session. It really lets your alter ego come out," says System76.
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But why exactly did System76 redesign the chassis with less of a focus on wood? The company explains, "Cutting down on the wood has made the manufacturing process much more efficient. With the modernized design, applying the accent takes much less precision, allowing for greater consistency and reducing the number of extrusions from four to two."
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Of course, "new" does not necessarily mean "better," so I am sure opinions on this redesign will be a mixed bag. While I think the new style of chassis is quite attractive, I must confess I will miss the previous styling (seen here) that focused more on wood. But who cares what I think -- what do you think about the redesign? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below.