|NZXT Alpha Classical Series Mid-Tower Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Chip Terrell - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 06 May 2008|
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Detailed Exterior Features
The exterior of the Alpha is really it's strong point as the interior has virtually no new design features. The case was designed to have a sort of Darth Vader look to it, and I believe NZXT succeeded in pulling it off. With this case NZXT put all the "wow" factor in the Alpha's unique exterior look, and it was obviously meant to be a displayed component as well as an enclosure for a computer system. Lots of reflection, shine, and blue LEDs give this case that futuristic look so popular with today's gaming enthusiasts. The NZXT Alpha is an attractive enclosure, and given the option of selecting the non-windowed version, this enclosure could easily find itself in an upscale cutting edge office environment, blue LEDs and all.
The Alpha was also an extremely difficult case to photograph because of it's reflective nature, as can be seen above. Many a shot hit the proverbial cutting room floor for the review of this case and given another opportunity, I would approach the photographing of the Alpha differently.
The power switch and reset button are often used by reviewers as a sort of litmus test to quickly tell if a case is of quality or not. Loose, sticking, or ill fitting power and reset buttons are usually signs that the case lacks quality and may not stand up to the test of time, especially since the power and reset buttons will probably be touched more than any other part of the case! Fortunately, the Alpha's power and reset buttons fit nicely, are made of metal textured for touch and clicked in and out with a satisfactory clean action. Take note of the vent slots in the bottom of the Alpha's front bezel above. Also, the bottom circle below the power and reset buttons is the green power LED.
The metal side attachment prongs are cut out of the same piece of steel as the cases side panel but because they are painted black like the rest of the panel itself they are difficult to see even with Dee pointing them out. The method of attaching the side panel of the Alpha is very simple, durable and effective. In the past Benchmark Reviews has frowned upon weaknesses in other more expensive case designs because the prongs were impractically made of plastic and almost certain to succumb to the test of time. The end user can remove the Alpha's side panel innumerable times and never have to worry about a plastic prong breaking, or one made with any other less durable material for that fact. I like that.
Here are the slots in the body of the case that the panel prongs slide into; the panel tightens down as the prong moves into the narrowed end of the slot. Add the two thumb screws in back and the windowed panel is quite secure and snug. The side panel attachment system is obviously designed to survive even the most careless use and still be effective.
Quality side door thumb screws. A little bulky, but easier to use than the solid metal ones provided with the far more expensive Antec P180. Users with large fingers will certainly appreciate the plastic grips.
Remove the two rear thumb screws and slide the windowed side panel back, and voila! You have easy access to the interior of the case. (Don't forget to disconnect the side door fan molex before removing the door very far from the proximity of the case!)