NZXT Beta ReviewGeekspeak411 -
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Once out of it's protective material, the Beta surprises. Despite being a steel tower it is extremely light which, if durable, would make a good case for someone on the go all the time such as myself. Another surprise is that NZXT went one step further than most other vendors and painted the interior as well as the exterior. Usually this comes at a price premium, but here it is on a $50 case! The exterior paint seems pretty durable too, not like some cheap rubbish that will flake off easily. The paint is textured and will hide fingerprints like a champ, a definite plus in my book. The front panel leaves a bit to be desired, perhaps it is just because the front panel lights are off, but the plastic quality just doesn't match the paint job. There is another surprise to be found here however. The 5.25" bay covers are not only perforated which allows for more airflow, but they, along with all the rest of the front panels air intakes, are padded with 1/4" foam which provides about the best air filtration available. I must admit, NZXT is really surprising me with how far they can stretch $50. They even drilled holes for watercooling! These pictures also show the two massive 120mm vents on the side which are drilled for fans of that size.
The front I/O panel can be found on the top of the Beta as opposed to being on the front in the traditional location. There are 2 USB ports, an eSATA port, and a microphone and headphone port. The inclusion of an eSATA port allows for fast and easy transfers between the computer and an eSATA compatible external hard drive.
Once you remove the front panel, you can see the 1/4" foam over the fans intake vent that NZXT attached to keep your system dust-free. The cords for all of the front lights and buttons are hot-glued in place rather haphazardly, but effectively. Also, after the panel is removed, you can get a closer look at the Beta's sole fan. It is easily removed via 4 crossover Phillips/standard head screws so that the user can install his/her own fan in the bay which the spec sheet clearly states can handle thicker fans. Following the design quality standard, the paint job continues unscathed even where you cant see.
Other than the lacking front panel, the designers at NZXT have blown me away with what they could do on a budget! Let's see whats hiding inside.