Zalman has proved they are listening to the market and has taken all of that knowledge gained and delivered the best chassis we have seen from them, hands down. The use of a front door to not only raise the aesthetic appeal, but covering the bays, mesh, and absorbing noises are added bonuses to the design. We like the subdued styling, with only slight angles and nothing too aggressive, and we also dig the black and white version over all black. We also like the work done to the interior. While it isn't perfect for anything you may conjure up to install inside, attention to details was not completely lost on Zalman. The PSU cover, the hidden drive rack, the room at the front for an AIO, LED fans and a ringed pattern that carries on through the entire top, and very minimal noise heard from the Z9 NEO are all great reasons to want one.
As far as issues are concerned, we found one major issue and something that is not an issue but is something we think should have been done differently. As to the issue, it came in the form of the optional SSD mounting locations near the front of the case. As instructed, we connected the SATA leads to the SSD, ran them through the hole for that drive in the motherboard tray, and found that we ran into the front of the chassis long before we ever got the screw holes aligned. This pretty much makes these locations useless for us.
The minor detail we would have changed has to do with the fans. They supplied ample airflow through the chassis; the LEDs are nice, but why in this day and age use Molex connections? Using a fan hub becomes impossible, and hopes of a fan controller to take care of them is out the door too. Simple 3-pin or 4-pin power plugs, please. Outside of these two things, the Zalman Z9 NEO is a great chassis.
To be honest, after seeing this Z9 NEO mid-tower chassis, we feel that Zalman is well on their way to mass success in the chassis game. While they may have fumbled ever so slightly with the SSD locations and fan power connectors, the rest of the features carry us past that. It is well outside of the box of what we are used to seeing in Zalman cases, yet is a chassis that anyone would like. Being able to add in the blue LED lighting scheme, the USB dust covers, a PSU cover plate, and still bringing loads of other features we usually only see from the major companies, and doing so with a minimal investment required is amazing.
At $69.99 for the black version, and $79.99 for the chassis we just showed you, as we said earlier, worth has become self-evident. This chassis packs in a ton of bang for the buck and is also very easy on the eyes. This Zalman Z9 NEO mid-tower chassis is a steal at this price, and Zalman will likely see lots of love for a chassis such as this.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||95%|
|Bundle and Packaging||91%|
|Value for Money||98%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: Zalman's Z9 NEO is a real head turner! We know Zalman is not immediately associated with cases, but with sleek clean aesthetics, a new interior layout, and all the main features found in cases made this year, for a little bit less than $80, you just can't go wrong.
PRICING: You can find the Zalman Z9 NEO Mid-Tower Chassis for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The Zalman Z9 NEO Mid-Tower Chassis retails for $68 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The Zalman Z9 NEO Mid-Tower Chassis retails for £56 at Amazon UK.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Zalman Z9 NEO Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 4 [Inside the Z9 NEO]
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