Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: NZXT
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
Smooth contours combine with some unusual angles to give the Phantom very distinctive look. The high-gloss finish on the metal panels matches the plastic bits nicely for a unified appearance, and the black accents, in both paint and mesh ventilation panels, create an elegant package somewhat reminiscent of a white tuxedo/black tie formal outfit. (Ok, maybe this is a stretch, but you get the idea!) The front door will hide up to five 5.25-inch devices and, once again, lends the case a sleek, classic look. The ventilation panel on the right will allow some cross ventilation for the hard drive cages, as we'll see in a bit.
The door is secured with a pair of magnetic catches that will keep the door closed, but it is easily opened by pulling on the cut-away area of the door. All five bay covers feature metal mesh and sliding release buttons that allow the covers to be removed without opening the case or removing the front panel. Nice!
Out back, we have what appears to be a relatively conventional layout, but NZXT still manages to include a few nice surprises. Starting at the bottom, the PSU aperture allows for mounting the power supply in either orientation, depending on the user's preference. Seven expansion bays featuring black mesh, replaceable covers are surrounded by four tubing access holes with rubber grommets. The motherboard I/O opening and 120mm fan placement are located in their customary spots and the Phantom features a round, black pushbutton near the top left of the back panel that activates a switch, allowing the user to turn LED fan lighting on and off. Each side panels is secured by three thumbscrews only two of which need to be completely removed to access the interior. The center screw need only be loosened a turn or two and pushed downward to actuate a spring-loaded latch that releases the panel.
The left side panel features a pair of meshed ventilation panels. As we'll see in a bit, the larger of these two will support the installation of an additional 200mm or 230mm fan, but neither is included. The smaller one sports two 120mm intakes to ventilate the drive cages. Up top, the black mesh panel provides air egress for a pair of 200mm exhaust fans, but only one fan is provided.
I/O ports are located on the top of the case, and while the audio jacks, two USB 2.0 ports and an eSATA port are sufficient for the vast majority of users, I frankly expected a bit more from a case of this caliber. Lastly, power and reset buttons share a slightly recessed area with the activity lighting. I really like the treatment here, with the locations actually incorporated into the overall design.