NZXT Lexa S Reviewairman - October 28, 2009
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The front bezel of the case has a glossy black finish and is shaped into a point on the top and through the middle. The bottom of the bezel features a large vent, with two clear plastic slivers on either side of it. The left side features a plastic window, which has a unique feature to it. The window is not completely clear, it is actually somewhat tinted and is beveled at the edges. This accents the visuals of the case and provides a very nice, sleek look. Mounted in the window is an included 120mm fan, masked by a fine mesh for a grille, which still provides adequate airflow and dust protection at the same time. The rear of the case is like most others, where an included 120mm fan can be found at the top. There are perforated PCI slot covers and an additional vent to the side of the PCI slots. Both side panels are held in by thumb screws, which allow for a tool-less entry into the case later. The case features two holes at the very top of the rear of the case, for an external water cooling loop. The holes are too small to fit 1/2" ID tubing, which is a little strange, as most custom loops use 1/2" ID.
The top of the case includes two spots for 120mm or 140mm fans, with one 140mm fan included and configured as an exhaust. The bottom of the case has raised feet with rubber pads and a vent under the power supply that includes a filter. A lot of bottom-mount PSU cases now are including these vents.
Part of the front bezel on the case is a door that houses the front of the 5.25" drive bays. It is held closed by magnets, instead of some sort of plastic latch that can wear out after extended use and no longer stay closed. Inside the front cover, above the NZXT badge, is a two-channel fan controller. For each of the channels, there are two three-pin headers available to plug in the fans. With the front bezel off, it is obvious that there are a large number of cables required to run the dual fan controller. These include both the power and reset buttons, USB, front audio and eSATA. The headers on the inside of the bezel are held onto the PCBs by hot glue, in a way that I would describe as 'haphazard', as most of the connections popped free while removing the front to take pictures. With the front bezel removed, a filter on the intake fan is clear to see and many manufacturers are including these now. The drive bay covers are perforated steel with a foam backing. This foam backing doubles as a noise blocking element and a dust blocking element. They are sturdy in construction and require the front bezel to be removed in order to change their configuration.
Inside the case in the hard drive area, is a cardboard box. Included with the case in this box is a 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter, which allows for two 2.5" drives to fit in the 3.5" drive bays. Included hardware is a bag of thumbscrews, a bag of motherboard standoffs, as well as a bag of regular screws. Also included, for use with the 3.5" drive bays, are five pairs of tool-less drive holders.
With the outside of the case explored, I will now take a look at the inside and working components of the case.