Introduction, Specifications and Pricing
While Zalman is a company that is much better known for their CPU coolers than anything else, they have been adding cases to their lineup for quite some time now. From what we saw at CES on our last trip, they were full of ideas and designs that were all aggressive in their aesthetics, and it was easy to see Zalman was watching the market and offering things inside of the chassis designs that should help them keep up with today's needs in cases. While it has been a long time since we have last seen a chassis from Zalman, this is exactly why we have you here now.
The latest chassis we are looking at is one of a group of cases. There is a vanilla version as well as a Plus addition to the same essential design. Also with the Plus chassis, there is the option for a black or a white version to choose from, of which we received the latter. The reality of the differences is pretty simple, though. The vanilla offers everything the Plus has minus two things. One of which is a VGA support bracket, and the second feature is that the Plus version also offers a window in the side panel. Outside of those two things, this one review will pretty much cover all three versions of this chassis.
Today, Zalman has us looking at the Z3 Plus White, the latest offering in their mid-tower cases. As you will soon see, while very light and aesthetically appealing, they also offer things like wire management, room for longer expansion cards, bays for both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives, and an opening in the motherboard tray for access. The Z3 Plus does bring a lot to the table. What we are here to distinguish is if this chassis is worth the time and effort to consider it for your next chassis. By the time we are done, you will have the full picture, and all of your questions will be answered.
The chart offered from Zalman offers a comparison chart between the Z3 Plus, the Z3 Plus White, and the Z3 to the right, but we snipped out the Z3 as the only difference is the two features we described above. Just under the names, we find they are all mid-tower designs in a chassis that weighs just thirteen pounds empty. These are made of steel and ABS plastic, and while the Z3 Plus is all black, the Z3 Plus White is all white but has black steel mesh used down the front bezel. Also, all three of them can house Micro-ATX and ATX motherboards and allow for 360mm of video card length.
Inside of the chassis, it offers two 5.25-inch bays with a single 3.5-inch bay under those, all of which are exposed through the bezel. At the bottom of the chassis, just behind a 120mm blue LED fan, there is a rack to house three 3.5-inch drives or a single 2.5-inch drive on the top of said rack. In the back of the chassis, along with the bottom mounted PSU and seven breakout expansion slot covers, there is another 120mm fan added for exhaust. As for the rest of the offerings, you can read about the front I/O offerings and the two-fan fan controller. There is more to this design, which will be seen soon enough as we make our way through the images. As it sits now, it seems the Z3 Plus cases have what everyone needs.
Looking around to see if Zalman has made this chassis widely available, we are finding it everywhere we look, and we have to assume they are doing the same in their other markets. This is also where we get into the pricing, and while a few places are offering free shipping with this chassis, its pricing is below that $100 magic line that we feel well equipped mid-towers should not cross unless it is something revolutionary or the material choice prohibits such a low cost. This is good for Zalman and this Z3 Plus White chassis. To be honest, we were expecting the price to be higher, as it seems many of the cases we just looked at this month we're asking a bit too much for what was offered. Zalman seems to have hit an acceptable price point for what we know of this design so far.
PRICING: You can find the Zalman Z3 Plus White for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Zalman Z3 Plus White retails for $60.99 at Amazon.
Canada: The Zalman Z3 Plus White retails for CDN$87.51 at Amazon Canada.