Date: February 12th, 2007
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
With all the packing materials removed, we get our first good look at the Zero. As we all know, first impressions are important, and the Zero gives a very good one. Unlike some of NZXT's previous offerings, this case has a rather understated and elegant appearance owing to its glossy black finish and brushed aluminum bezel accent. While the case is fairly large, its proportions give it a pleasing stance. The front bezel is glossy black plastic with a brushed aluminum accent panel that sports the power button and red HDD activity LED along with a small NZXT logo near the bottom of the door. An 80mm blowhole fan graces the top of the case, but you'll probably have to remove it during installation.
The door swings open from left to right. With a bit more than 90 degrees of travel, it won't get in the way of ODD operation, but with the door closed, there is virtually no clearance between the door and the inner bezel face. Bay devices with protruding knobs may not let the door close completely. The top bay is an exception as it features a smoke-tinted window to show off your VFD or other bay bling. The two arrows indicate magnetic buttons that interface with similar buttons on the inner bezel to serve as a latch. These work quite well and will keep the door securely closed without requiring undue force to open.
Five big bays and two small bays are hidden behind the door. The hinges appear to be very sturdy yet operate smoothly. In fact, the wires running to the door have enough “memory” to keep the door from remaining in its fully open position. This is a minor annoyance and will probably resolve itself in time. The reset button lives behind the door as well.
The front panel connectors are actually on the side of the case. The right side, to be exact (wrong side, in my opinion) and consist of the conventional 1394 FireWire, audio and two USB ports. With the door open, these ports are difficult to access, and placing the Zero so that the ports are readily accessible makes access to the front bay devices difficult. Admittedly, I don't really like cases with front doors. That's just personal preference. But putting the ports on this side makes things downright inconvenient. Also visible in this photo is an example of the paint finish on the Zero. It has great “curb appeal,” being fairly glossy from a distance, but closer examination reveals a rough “orange peel” texture that some discerning users may find objectionable.