Lets face it: Most people don’t need expensive computer cases. But they sell because they’re status items loaded with neat gadgets, bells, whistles, in a box of exotic materials and strange shapes. The majority of folks don’t need anything as fancy as what we often regard as the de facto standards in cases. Then again, nobody likes a beige box either. The market’s shunning has finally made case makers take note, and the ugly beige boxes are no longer sold.
NZXT must have seen the writing on the wall. People want a solid basic case, but don’t want to spend a fortune. NZXT’s recent introduction of the Beta case is proof.
The Beta is all-steel mid-tower sold as part of NZXT’s “Classic Series” line of cases with a $49.99 MSRP ($39.99 after MIR).
- Model: Beta Series
- Case Type: Mid Tower Steel
- Front Panel Material: Plastic
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 200 X 430 X 501 mm / 7.87″ x 16.9″ x 19.7″
- Cooling System: Front, 1 X 120mm Blue LED (included); Rear, 1 X 120mm, Side, 2 x 120mm
- Drive Bays: 4 External 5.25″, 5 Internal 3.5″ featuring Screwless Rail Design
- Expansion Slots: 7
- Weight: 7.28 kgs (16.05 lbs)
What’s in the box?
Unlike the Panzerbox and other NZXT cases we’ve reviewed in the past, the Beta comes in a pretty lackluster brown cardboard box with some simple printing to identify the contents. Inside, we find the case held securely by the standard massive foam blocks with the case itself covered in a plastic bag.
The Beta is pretty light for a steel offering. A quick once-over showed it was free from dents and dings, and we got a chance to check out its external features. The case follows standard mid-tower dimensions with a traditional top mounted PSU and single front intake fan. The top of the case features front mounted audio jacks for headphones and a microphone, two USB ports, and an eSATA connection.
The front panel’s defining aesthetic is a full-length vented grille that ties in nicely with the 5.25″ bay covers. The bay covers and the grille both feature airflow-friendly metal mesh that is backed by removable foam filters. Flanking either side of the grille are triangular power and reset buttons with integral LEDs, and behind the grille at the bottom of the case is a 120mm intake fan with blue LEDs. The fan, being behind the foam filters, casts a soft blue glow to the front of the case without being distracting or ostentatious.
The panel on the business face of the Beta offers two 120mm intake mounts that blow onto the CPU area. The case does not ship with these fans included.
The rear panel of the case also has an empty 120mm fan mount. The Beta rounds out the rear with two water cooling tubing channels with rubber grommets and seven expansion slot covers.
Inside the case we found a small box containing the Beta’s accessories. The box comes with enough mounting standoffs, thumb screws and drive rails to install a full complement of devices. The complete package was a welcome sight considering the bargain price tag of the Beta. All too often, we find the number of mounts and hardware lacking in cases near this price point.
Overall fit and finish for the NZXT Beta is excellent. The interior of the case features the same semi-gloss black paint as the exterior. Only in one small area in the 3.5″ drive mounts did we find the finish to be a bit thin. Even without hardware installed, it was in a spot rarely seen.