Date: March 2nd, 2010
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
While the body of the Z7 Plus is steel, the front panel and top cowling are made of plastic. The front consists of what appear to be nine fully meshed bay covers with the top four being available for optical drive sized devices. At the bottom of the front panel, Zalman has incorporated an adapter for floppy sized devices while the four bays in between hide the fan cooled hard drive cage that hold up to five HDDs. As you can see, the Z7 Plus has a distinctive look without being overly ostentatious.
(Note: Purplish protective coating can be peeled off)
The I/O panel lives on the top of the Z7 Plus and can be hidden behind its flip-up door. Included are the customary audio ports, two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port and the reset button. The power button is flanked by two HDD activity LEDs and the Zalman logo lights up to serve as the power LED. The standard Z7 doesn't come with an eSATA port but is otherwise identical to the Z7 Plus in this respect. These ports should satisfy the vast majority of mainstream users, but I do wish that Zalman had given the USBs some additional spacing to accommodate larger devices.
At the rear, the Z7 Plus is relatively conventional in its layout with the PSU at the top, and the exhaust fan placement, motherboard I/O panel and expansion bays in their customary locations. Watercooling enthusiasts get the nod with two grommetted tubing access holes between the PSU and exhaust fan. There's also a tab for a padlock or seal to be applied by the user. Side panels are secured with four thumbscrews and the left panel features a meshed cowling that not only conceals the side intake fans…
…but provides some dust filtration and also features a fan speed control wheel and activity LED. The Z7 Plus logo is proudly displayed in the bottom right corner of the panel. The standard Z7 doesn't include the cowling and its fan control features, leaving the two 120mm fan placements exposed with only the lower one occupied by an intake fan. Let's open up the case and see what Zalman has in store for us inside.