On the basic level, the Neos does pretty well. Being a budget friendly chassis by design, we don't expect a whole lot as far as removable components, great wire management, or even anything that offers a whole lot when it comes to style or options. There is room for six 2.5" drives, or three of each 2.5" and 3.5" drives, so storage is of little concern. There are three bays in the 5.25" rack, and due to wiring, only two are usable, but there is a bright side here too.
Not only did it allow the wiring to be mounted to the chassis so that you don't have to deal with that when cleaning the fan dust filter, but there is also still room for a Blu-ray drive, or even a dual bay reservoir, since the back of the chassis will allow for the use of an external radiator. The wiring is sleeved, and even if it's the only thing to fit behind the motherboard tray, it does so cleanly, and still reached the furthest HD audio motherboard connection. In the end, it just all worked pretty well, and went as expected.
There are a few things to watch out for though. Of course, there is the odd thing of getting a few hardware pieces we don't need, rather than receiving enough screws to hold the PSU in and still use all, or more than two expansion slots. We also found the steel to be on the thin side, so the panels take a bit of work to get on and off. Also, while the panels are off, there is a bit more flex to the chassis than we really thought would be there. The amount of flex is not detrimental, and the chassis is not flimsy by any means, but it is just not as strong as many others. The last thing worth a solid mention is that with only one fan provided in the chassis, and it being a lower RPM model, temperature does suffer in this chassis as it is shipped from BitFenix; although, that can easily be remedied by adding two more fans in the front.
As far as customizability is concerned, there is the option to buy a windowed or windowless version right off any shelf. However, when it comes to color, maybe you just can't find the one you want. Well, BitFenix has a plan, and it is of course subject to change, but we were told they will offer parts for the Neos in the new U.S. and U.K. store fronts. BitFenix plans to offer the option to buy a side panel if you thought you didn't want the window and found out later you need one, and they will also offer bezels in all of their color choices, with black and white frames. Essentially, you could buy the whole set of bezels and change the front of your chassis depending on mood that day, or select just one that best suits your style or theme.
As for the $50 to $60 that you would have to pay out to get a Neos, we think it is money well spent. After the last chassis we looked at, we see that BitFenix is still in their right mind, and they do offer a really slick idea of a chassis in this mid-tower design. With a few more of their cases to come along very soon after this, our faith in BitFenix has been restored.
While it's not the perfect choice for every builder out there, where else can you get a chassis with this sort of a layout, and with all of the options in coloration that can be had with this Neos? The answer is nowhere. Only BitFenix is willing to take the chance to make everyone happy with their options, and give case modders a leg up on readily available aftermarket parts.
PRICING: You can find the BitFenix Neos 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 BitFenix Neos (Black/Black, no window) retails for $59.98 at Amazon.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [BitFenix Neos Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 4 [Inside the Neos]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [Case Build and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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