As you may have noticed, the side panels on the V354 are completely attached to the main chassis by screws - eight for each side. That's right. Instead of the usual sliding side panels which require grooves inside the chassis, the bolt-on nature of these side panels means that Lian Li can shave a bit off the width and it likely makes for a more compact design. It is also a real hassle when you need to open this case.
The sheer number of screws on this chassis feels like a throwback to another era. Although Lian Li has included thumb screws for some of the internal components like the drive cages, the problem is getting there in the first place. We counted up to 20 screws just to install an optical drive and this was not including the screws required to secure the optical drive to the drive bay.
With so many small screws, there's a high chance that careless users will damage the screw thread and well, that's exactly what happened to us. Our attempt at taking out the 5.25-inch external drive bay failed spectacularly when we failed to unscrew the tiny screws holding it to the case. There were four screws and we damaged two of them before giving up. This symptom isn't just for this model as historically speaking, we've encountered the same problem on older Lian Li casings too, but there's a greater risk for this chassis with so many screws to tackle.
If not for the screws, the installation would have been fine. As it is, the instructions in Lian Li's manual were simple and clear. We liked how one can practically install the motherboard outside the chassis and the pre-installed standoffs were much welcomed.
Obviously, the limited space inside this mini tower makes it more difficult, especially with a lack of cable management options. A modular power supply is highly recommended. Also, while Lian Li manages to support longer graphics cards, users should be advised that this will remove your drive bay options. No matter what though, space is a premium in the V354.