I know aesthetically this case isn't going to be for everyone. I for one like more simple looking cases packed full of features. I have to say that the Phantom first struck me as an odd duck, but the more I got to mess with it and reviewing these images, the Phantom's exterior is really growing on me. I love all the shiny black surfaces, and the angled look of the front bezel and top cover. Doors over the optical drives aren't something I cheer for, but with this exterior I don't think it could have been pulled of as cleanly as the Phantom is in this form. The large areas of venting do breathe well, and if they were all backed by fans the flow in this case would go from very good to excellent. One thing I will hand to NZXT is that even though there are four fans included, at full speed they make for a minimal hum heard from the case. Once my GPU spooled up the case noise was drowned right out.
Things I didn't like about the Phantom make for a really short list. I would suggest they include a little towel for the plastic parts. This case, with all its gloss, is a real fingerprint magnet. It seemed I was wiping the case off before every image as I have to handle it to spin it around. Beyond that I would have liked to have gotten the extra three fans they made room for, but I'm sure that would most likely break their budget friendly pricing. The rest of my time with the Phantom was truly enjoyable and the ease and intuitive nature of the design will make any case builder a wiring master.
I really hate telling you that you will have to wait till sometime in September to get yourself one, but sadly that is the facts. What this will do to benefit you is that it gives you a bit of time to allocate $140 or so into your budget for your own red, white or black version. The Phantom isn't a replacement for my Obsidian, but it isn't marketed for that. The Phantom is my choice over cases like the HAF series, the Dark Fleets, and just about every other case in this price range. To offer an enthusiast minded chassis that delivers silence, good air flow, and stunning looks, and doesn't break the bank, NZXT offers in my opinion the best bang for the buck in its segment. Keep your eyes peeled as time goes on; I bet with a few introductory deals with free shipping offered, you too will find room in your house for the Phantom from NZXT.
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