Antec Three Hundred Two Case ReviewBluePanda -
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Now to present what you came to this review for: pictures of the case itself. The front profile of the case is simple and pleasing at the same time. There are no flashy colors, no crazy geometries, and my personal favorite, not too many glossy surfaces to show off fingerprints. There are a couple of glossy surfaces, but you can't quite see them. The back of the case reveals a little inner color, which, if you hadn't figured out from the box pictures, is the unfinished/unpainted innards of the case. For a long time now, it's become standard to have a case come painted inside and out with the unpainted business left to older cases. I thought the act of providing unfinished cases was almost obsolete. I am proven wrong, however this issue isn't what this picture is about; rather, a good look at the back of this case will show you it's not quite so normal.
The PCIe slot covers actually screw on from the outside here. The panel to the right of the PCIe slots has two removable case screws. These release the panel and allow access to the screws to hold in your PCI slot items. Screw them in, and then screw the plate back onto the chassis. It works as both a space saver inside the case as well as a bit of an anti-theft device. It'd take quite the effort to steal a video card without much dedication.
The sides of the case don't have much to explain. They are also both fairly simple, as each one has its own fan hole. At this point I'm assuming there's ample room behind the motherboard tray; otherwise I'm going to have to order a slim fan to fit in there (let's hope not). Other than that nuance, there isn't much to say about the sides. There is a raised "Antec Designs" logo on the panel behind the motherboard, however no combination of lighting or camera angle let me display that for you. Trust me, it is there.
From left to right, the I/O panel provides two USB 3.0 ports, a microphone and headphone jack, a reset switch, and the power button. The reset button is a bit on the small side. If you have fat fingers I wouldn't count on pressing it very easily without the aid of a smaller object; I have small figures and still find it a bit tricky. Overall, it is relatively clean looking for a front bezel, a feature I do like. It also doesn't look or feel overly cheap, which is a major highlight considering the cost of the case. The bottom of the case continues the clean look with a very simple "Antec" logo embedded in the bottom edge. If you weren't really looking, you probably wouldn't see it.
While we are still focusing on the outside of the case, let's take a look at the top again. You might have seen it in a few of the earlier shots, but there's a raised fan region and two water ports up here. The water holes are grommeted for tubes to fit through, and with it being at the back of the case here it's optimal for an external reservoir. However, if you were thinking a pre-built WC system like the H100, you'll have to make some modifications to get the tubes through the holes; you have to be able to disconnect one end of the loop. It is a good location, but considering the cost of the case and the overall size it probably wouldn't be a good idea to buy for water cooling in the first place. It might be seen as a bonus feature on the market, but on the practical side it's just a waste. The raised fan area also makes it impossible to mount fans externally – so if you were going to try to do a 120mm external, top-mounted radiator you'll have to add a spacer in there as well. It was a nice idea but with poor execution.
A closer look at the back of the case, for those of you who might have missed it on the general back shot of the case, shows two quick High/Low fan controllers. One controls the fan mounted in the top while the other controls the rear fan speed. You can choose from high or low, only two settings, but perhaps this will make the difference between a noisy case and a tolerable case.
Overall, looking from the outside, this case doesn't look all that bad. It has a very plain, yet aesthetically pleasing appeal to it. It is not too flimsily built for the cost and is starting to have a very appealing look to it with the price tag. Let's hope the innards and the ease of building a system inside follows the same appeal. Jump to the next page to get a good look inside the case.