|Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Nate Swetland - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 20 January 2011|
Page 3 of 6
Detailed Exterior Features
Many times, a case looks great from a distance but once you inspect it closer, you find a few flaws here and there. Often, these flaws don't amount to much more than personal preferences. Sometimes, however, these flaws turn out to be fatal to the design of the case. Let's take a closer look at the Z9 Plus's external features and see how close attention Zalman paid to the details.
Shows in this picture is the windowed left side of the Z9 Plus. The window can accommodate up to two 120mm fans, and Zalman kindly included one 120mm Blue LED fan with the Z9 Plus. The other fan goes in the upper-right corner. In the corners where the fans mount, the side has an open air grill, but on the corners that don't hold a fan, there is clear acrylic. The grilled section allows air flow in and out of the case to cool your hot components.
The above image shows the front of the case with the fascia removed. Behind that, you can see the 4 break-away 5.25" expansion bay covers. I am not at all fond of the break away covers, but Zalman smartly included a way to screw the covers back on when not using the bay. They should have simply made them screw-only and skipped the break-away part. The 5.25" covers on the front fascia are smartly covered with dust filters. If you remember from the specification chart, it says there are only 3 5.25" bays, but it appears there are 4 here. We will get into that later. On the bottom part of the image, you can see the removable filter for the 120mm or 140mm fan. Zalman included a Blue LED 120mm fan with the case to draw fresh outside air in and across your hard drives. The "Z" design on the front of the case may give you a little cause for concern, as it seems like it may impede air flow, but there appears to be enough open grill area and slots to allow enough air in. The front I/O panel can be moved around, but makes the most sense when installed on the top.
This is a picture of the bottom of the Z9 Plus. Zalman chose to include a mount for an optional bottom 120mmor 140mm fan. The fan opening is protected from the elements with a dust filter. Also on the bottom, you can see the unfiltered vents where the PSU will sit above. There are 4 rubber feet on each corner to provide grip and vibration resistance against any surface it sits on.
The picture above show the Z9 Plus with the LED lights on. It also shows the I/O panel turned on. Zalman included 4 120mm fans with the case, and 3 of them are Blue LED fans. The front I/O panel has four USB 2.0 ports, a microphone port, a headphone jack, a fan speed control knob, temperature display, and of course the power/reset buttons and HDD/Power LED. I really appreciate the inclusion of the four USB ports. Many cases I see only have 2, and I find myself constantly switching devices and cords. The temperature display is very nice to be able to keep tabs on a particular area inside your case. The fan speed control knob is also very handy for controlling up to 2 fans. Please follow the review to the next page to take a look at the inside of the Z9 Plus.