By: Kenneth Kwok
July 18, 2009
Generally, software has usually not been released in a timely fashion; some software may take different lengths of time to be officially released. Take Windows Vista, Half Life 2, or most notably, even Duke Nukem Forever -- as common examples -- especially where the latter has been infamous for indefinite release dates to this very day. One thing that has been common in the software sector is the use of beta testing. Free public betas are a good way to get feedback on a piece work in progress; and to get some "free" publicity for the product itself. This has been especially effective with major productions in the software industry such as the upcoming Windows 7. Meanwhile, for Google services like Gmail, has only been recently taken out of the arguably abused 'beta' status after five long years. Regardless of the length of time it takes, beta software has always been a welcome addition for consumers that wish to test the "next big thing" ahead of time. Anyways, we digress, the reason we are talking about beta is because of a new computer chassis interesting named the "Beta" from gaming chassis manufacturer NZXT. The inspiration behind the NZXT Beta is to design a case "that delivers gamers a chassis designed for tremendous value without sacrificing performance." On the positive side, at least we didn't have to wait indefinitely to get our hands on this case (har har). Nor is enduring a product that normally carries a 'beta' status incorporates expected elements such as unrefined finishing -- or do we? You'll have to read on to find out. Jokes aside, enthusiasts do not normally associate a gaming PC case with the word "value"; and it's hard to blame them. Budget PC cases are not exactly suited for gamers, especially when you want to bring your "1337 gaming rig!!!!111!1!shiftoneoneone" to a LAN party. Regardless of what it is, today we will take a look at a case that is marketed towards a group of so-called 'budget gamers'.
The review unit of the NZXT Beta came from American Future Technology's offices in what appears to be retail packaging. American Future Technology is NZXT's parent company name located in California, USA. The parcel came in very good condition; with very little shipping damage done to the box. My hypothesis is that the box may have been too large and heavy to play soccer with haha.
The retail packaging is plain and simple, to say the least. It's just a brown corrugated cardboard box with black printing on it. It lists all the features and specifications of the case on the front and on the sides of the box. The word 'Beta' is in bold with a strip of black going through it. A somewhat small NZXT logo can be found on the bottom left side on the front of the box.
After opening the retail packaging, the NZXT Beta was found between two styrofoam brackets; which held the case in place inside the box. The chassis itself was sealed inside a thin plastic bag, to protect the chassis from scratches and dust. Overall, the packaging was done with enough care to keep the case in place and to protect it from the seemingly routine shipping damage. An accessories box can be found inside the case itself, which stayed in place due to the location of the accessories box.
Before we move on with our review, let's take a look at the specifications, as obtained from NZXT's website, and edited by us to allow for easier reading:
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"
-Front, 1 X 120mm Blue LED (included)
-Rear, 1 X 120mm
-Side, 2 x 120mm
-4 Exeternal 5.25" Drive Bays
-5 Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
-Screwless Rail Design
Material(s): Steel with black finish
Expansion Slots: 7
Power Supply: 500 WATT PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 (Optional)
Weight: 7.28 KGS (W/O Power)
Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Baby AT