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The front of the case is mesh from top to bottom. From the looks of it, there is a foam backing behind each drive bay cover. This is a nice feature, considering it blocks out a small amount of sound, but more importantly they act as a filter for the two 120mm intake fans behind them. The front of the case does not have any buttons, as the I/O and control panel is located on the top of the case. A large majority of case manufacturers are catching on to this trend, as it makes the cases a little bit easier to use for those who have their computers on the ground. It doesn't force the users to bend all of the way out of their chair to turn the computer on or plug in a USB flash drive. The left side of the case has a small Plexiglass window that is tinted blue. The window itself is an odd shape, which is kind of like a backwards "C". Smaller windows usually make it easier to hide any extra wires that could be seen from the outside, which technically aids in wire management, at least visually. There is no side intake fan on this case.
The rear of the case shows an upper 120mm exhaust fan with blue blades. The amount of restriction on the case for the fan looks minimal, which is good to see. I was surprised to see that the actual expansion slot covers were painted black in the same finish the the rest of the rear of the case has on it, but I then realized that they are tear-outs and part of the way the case was stamped. It is smooth and pretty tough against scratches and doesn't seem like it would chip. I didn't mention it above, but the side panels are painted with a little bit more texture. The rivets on the back are painted to match the case as well, which in turn make the unpainted screws that hold the 120mm fan in place stand out quite a bit. To the right of the expansion slots, there are large perforations (my caliper says 5mm in diameter, which is the same as the holes on the exhaust fan port) that allows heat to passively escape. The motherboard I/O panel has a tear-out plate there, complete with openings for a parallel port, serial ports, and a game port. I'm not sure why they decided to put this there, as most cases just leave a hole. Nevertheless, it only reminded me that I'm getting older, since I can tell what ports they are just by looking at their shape. Anyway, the power supply mounts on the bottom and has raised support dimples beneath it, which alleviates some of the weight from the mounting screws holding it in, especially for the heavy monsters on the market today. The placement of the power supply does allow for about 3/8th of an inch beneath it, in case the orientation of the power supply means the fan would be on the bottom. There isn't much to be said about the right side of the case, besides the fact that it looks just like the left side, minus the window.
The top of the case shows the I/O port, the power and reset buttons, and the two fans on the top. The exhaust fans are placed below the same type of mesh that appears on the front drive bay covers, just without the foam. Besides noise blocking, there is no need for foam here since the fans are blowing air out. The fans on top have blue blades just like the exhaust in the back, so I'm sure at this point they are going to have the same ratings. The bottom side of the case has four gray plastic feet, which stand over a half an inch tall.
A frustration with this case that I discovered is removing the front bezel. While it isn't 100% necessary to do this, it can make the process of installing optical drives (at least as far as removing the drive bay covers goes) and hard drives much easier. I will be demonstrating the hard drive installation process on the next page once I get inside the case. In order to remove the front bezel, six screws behind it have to be removed. Screws are no problem, unless they're hard to reach such as the ones in about three of the six locations. The case implements a tool-less system, that kind of got in the way of some of the screws. Luckily, the individual components of the tool-less system can actually be removed, and made it a little easier to remove these screws. Upon removing the front panel, I discovered that one of the wires that power the LEDs in the four corners of the front was hanging loose, not connected to anything. I did happen to find where I believe it goes - there was heat-shrink around one wire that looks like there is room for another. There is a 2-pin header that belongs to these wires, which plugs into a supplied adapter with a 4-pin Molex on the end. To make removing the front panel easier later on, I only put two screws back in the easiest location, the middle on either side.
With the exterior of the case evaluated, I will be diving into the inside of the case to see what things it has to offer the user, as well as how the tool-less system in this case works.