Starting this June, component maker ASUS will begin shipping one of its Mini ATX motherboards in a cardboard box that will double as a PC case.
ITWorld has a photo and a video of the box in question:
The idea is that enthusiasts can use the cardboard box as a PC case while shopping around for the ideal case for their build. It's also billed as a method to cut down on shipping waste.
I'm not so convinced. The whole thing seems gimmicky to me. First, if this is to save on whopping waste, then why does the box seem bigger than any motherboard box I've seen? This thing is huge, like a storage box (it has to be to be able to accommodate the bits that go into a PC). Also, ASUS itself only gives the box a lifetime of about one year before the box has to be dumped.
Then there's the whole issue of RF (radio frequency) shielding. PCs are pretty electrically noisy as a plain cardboard box isn't going to offer much in the way of shielding.
Then there's the small issue that cardboard has the capacity to burn pretty enthusiastically, and while PCs don't regularly catch fire, sparks, flames and fires are a possibility. Enclosed in a metal case, these fires are usually pretty subdued, but a cardboard box (especially untreated, but even treated cardboard exposed to oils and grease will ignite) could well just add fuel to the festivities.
Best use fo this box I can see is to just set up the motherboard for testing ... but you can do that with a regular motherboard box ... I know because I do it all the time.