Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The Midgard II is an all steel chassis with ABS plastic used as needed for design elements and tool-less features on the inside. Both the inside as well as the outside gets the same textured black paint treatment. The top panel and the front bezel are different. Xigmatek is using "leather coating" to explain the rubberized coating applied to these surfaces to make for easy cleaning and less fingerprints, just like BitFenix's SofTouch coating.
I really like that the front I/O panel has been moved to the top of the chassis to allow a full expanse of mesh down the front of the chassis. As the I/O panel got moved, they took this opportunity to utilize some wasted space behind it to incorporate a removable top that will house a dual 120mm radiator. The left side of the Midgard II has an area of mesh that you can back with either 120mm or 140mm fans to help cool the interior and there is a windowed version that offers no place for a side panel fan.
On the inside the chassis is definitely different. There are three 5.25" drives with an extra at the top that with the use of a supplied face plate, allows for a slim ODD to be installed. Below the ODD bays there are two sections containing trays for three drives each. The top section is removable to allow for longer graphics cards, or to be used as a platform for your pump and reservoir if you choose to use water cooling. The motherboard tray has a much larger offset to the rear panel in the Midgard II and will allow for lots of wiring to be hidden there and on the reverse side it has mounting for Micro-ATX, ATX and ITX motherboards to be secured to it. In the back of the case there is the 120mm exhaust fan to compliment the front 120mm fan to direct the air flow in this chassis. Under the exhaust fan, Xigmatek kept the seven expansion slots, but did away with the cheap plastic tool-less latches in favor of more secure thumbscrews.
From what I have seen, it really looks like Xigmatek took a wide eyed look at what is currently out there selling in huge amounts and incorporated everything they can think of into this new mid-tower Midgard II. I even forgot to cover the fact that it has a 2.5" or 3.5" SATA docking station on top of it for simple drive to drive transfers or diagnosing drive issues for a drive from another build. Xigmatek really chocked this case full of features that will make it a strong competitor in its segment.
Which segment is that exactly? Well in the US market I will say it is the sub-$100 market. While I am still unable to find this chassis listed in the States, my Google-fu shows me that over the pond they are on shelves in a lot of locations. For those of you on that side of the Atlantic, I see listings in the £63 - £90 total price. For those on this side of the ocean like I am, we still have to wait for its arrival, but with a basic conversion the low end works out to around $98 USD and we don't get charged VAT, so the pricing should be even lower for us. Even with its limited US availability, I say we continue on and see if this is a case that makes your "next build buy list". I for one like the looks and features so far, but let's get through some images so I can get the build done and see what the finished results are before I make any rash comments.