Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL Case
While this case may look similar to every other case on the market the outer front and sides are where the similarities cease to exist. This Case is Revolutionary in design in so many ways it would be almost impossible to describe all of them without writing a small term paper on the subject. Yes this case is that different.
First thing you may notice on this case is the accordion style outcropping on the far side and wonder what they must have been thinking when they designed this case. Well they were obvious thinking way outside of the box. Like most innovative minds, form always follows behind function and this is exactly what it is. That out cropping is made to house the Power supply, give room for wire management and as an added bonus to make another radiator placement possible. The reason it looks like this is because it has to look this way to be such a great case and it really doesn’t look like other cases because; well, it isn’t like any other cases at all.
The case breathes from the front side and frontal gills that frame the rectangular front end. This cuts noise helps in the overall looks of the case even when it needs to be brushed off and allows for a professional clean environment inside the case all together.
The side panels have this awesome way of fitting that is unlike any other case on the market too. There is no sliding action that has to work for fitting the panels on. The panels fit on a hinged lip that fits in the front and closes like a door to finish the closure. In the end the amazingly silky fitting thumb screws lock the panel closed and make getting inside and closing so much easier than the largest portions of the cases out there except for the ones that swing open on a door hinge. This is kind of the melding of both. There is not really a hinge on this panel. Just a metal lip that follows down the entire front side of the panel then the panel is closed and held slightly with some friction from back side then the thumb screws close it up with a final tight seal. The tinted windows are very durable and not the easy scratch type but you still have to be careful with any Acrylic style window. But the look really matches the case perfectly and the angles of the front window looks like a Modder himself added that one for effect. The Phanteks Emblem can be easily seen through the bottom of that front window and adds even more class and style to a very highly engineered case.
The motherboard tray or back panel is all function from the front filtered ventilation for the top mounted power supply and the bottom front opening that is made for venting a 240 MM x 120 MM Radiator and there are fan mounting holes in the side panel just incase you want push/pull and the fans can lock down solid on the back panel and easily be unplugged from the fan and Lighting bus in the center of the back chassis in the center of the cable management area of the case.
The controls and connections for the main Micro ATX motherboard is located a location that makes finding them first an issue but again, they make engineering sense in the way they are located. The line up at the top includes the audio in and out, then the USB 3.0 connection that have a great rubber blank that fits easily into the unused 3.0 device plug then finally a hard to press reset switch and finally a Light Color changing button. All together they make great sense and the front power button is very big and needs only a touching eye to find it along the side.
The top cover is made of a tight reinforced mesh that makes it strong and easy to remove and clean. The top can be taken off by taking out one single centrally located thumbscrew in the back of the case and then sliding the top back away from the two friction posts, colored in red here for ease of understanding. They do not come red, I colored them here, but they would be really looking tight if they did color them red.
The bottom of the case is very well ventilated with dual drawer type slide out vents. One think that I didn’t like with this case was that at first I could not get the clipping closure to lock around the drawer hold so the vents were stuck in this unopened state until I realized the secret to closing them. If you do a pinching motion with your thumb on the outside and your two fingers on the inside you can pinch the two parts together and get the click and they close perfectly but I would probably change those out in version 2.0 of this case with a simple speaker grill holding action.
This is not the only way that this case can look on the back since if you add the M-ITX kit to the back you lose the Radiator mount and gain and completely separate and additional place for your M-ITX motherboard to mount.
But if you just have the case with no extra kits then this is what you get out of the box with a full 240mm X 120mm radiator mount on the back, five PCI slots, the top one sided power supply mount and the I/O shield for the primary Micro ATX motherboard.