Fractal Design goes all touchy-feely with a fabric-covered PC case, a plushy headset, and a swish gaming chair

The Fractal Design "Mood" PC case
(Image credit: Future)

I've always thought that Fractal Design had a particularly Nordic approach to its products, what with all the clean lines, soft curves and the use of wood and other high-end materials. That was PC cases, though. Now the Swedish-based company has made some bold moves into new markets entirely.

The Computex press event today wasn't just about new PC cases, as many expected. To many oohs and aahs, Fractal revealed not only a fabric covered, "chimney" style case that wouldn't look out of place in a posh hotel suite, but also a wireless headset and a gaming chair to go with.

That case though. Named simply "Mood", its fabric outer body not only looks great, but feels it too. The entire outer casing slides upwards off the top (which one journalist managed in two minutes flat, despite an attempt to screw it down) to reveal a huge 180 mm fan, with a sleek inner chassis keeping internal components neatly tucked into place. 

It supports up to a 280 mm AIO, comes in black or "Light" colours (looks like mostly grey to me, but what do I know) and goes on sale this June for $150. Having felt the outer casing and seen it for myself, that actually strikes me as cheaper than expected. 

It's still a lot for a chassis, but you really could stick it next to your TV in the front room with no-one being the wiser that it's actually a powerful gaming PC, and I can't think of too many case designs that can do that.

The headset was a real surprise, too. Called the Scape, its metal frame in combination with some remarkably soft earpads lends it a very high-end feeling, which it better do for the price—$200, which puts it into dangerous territory when you consider some of the competition.

Still, it feels light and very well-made, and comes with both a detachable microphone and both wireless and Bluetooth support. A very premium-feeling object, for sure, but I'd have to give it a proper testing when it becomes available later this year before I could tell you if it was worth that kind of money.

And then there's the gaming chair, the Fractal Design Refine. I'll be honest that, while it looked lovely, it did strike me as just, well, quite a nice chair really. There's a lot of adjustability though, alongside padded armrests, hollow wheels that make you feel as if you're "gliding on air" (supposedly) and a moveable memory foam headrest.

It's a nice thing, but again, pricey. $550 gets you one of the mesh or fabric models, while the Alcantara model is a jaw dropping $900. I like me a bit of Alcantra, but having spent a brief time with the mesh model, I'm pretty sure you'll be fine with the cheaper unit.

Still, this might take the prize for the most surprising of all my press briefings this trip. I expected cases, maybe even the odd lifestyle tie-in, but fabric coatings, an intriguing headset and a high-end chair was not on my list.

At one point early on, before anything was revealed, I heard someone say that Fractal was "the Ikea of gaming". A lazy analogy I thought, given the Swedish connection.

After the furniture-style and, well, straight up furniture reveals today though, maybe that was more accurate than I first thought.

Andy Edser
Hardware Writer

Andy built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 12, when IDE cables were a thing and high resolution wasn't. After spending over 15 years in the production industry overseeing a variety of live and recorded projects, he started writing his own PC hardware blog for a year in the hope that people might send him things. Sometimes they did.

Now working as a hardware writer for PC Gamer, Andy can be found quietly muttering to himself and drawing diagrams with his hands in thin air. It's best to leave him to it.