From the beginning I liked the looks of the Survivor. The flat black rubberized coating and round chunky frame make the Survivor a standout in any crowd, but I wanted to get right to the functionality of all the components. As soon as I got the Survivor out of the box, I started to play around with the handle. I was told they are still making changes to the handle before the retail version comes out, but the design I saw was pretty solid. It will more than handle the weight of the rig, empty or fully loaded.
When walking around with the Survivor, the handle is chunky, but it didn't hurt after lugging it up two flights of stairs. Now, I don't suggest you twist your wrist about like an excited child while holding the Survivor, as it isn't designed to take a thrashing from side to side, but it is very functional for use to lug the PC into anywhere you want to go, and easily set the unit on a table once you arrive.
That brings me to security, as it seems that it is a major concern with those attending LAN events. With the design of the exterior of the chassis and the additional pad lock loop, you can be darn sure that if anyone wants your components, the only quick way to do so would be to take the whole system and hide for a while as he pries his way into it, and is likely not going to happen. They are in for the easy prey.
That brings us to the S2 peripheral security device. Once the padlock loop is installed, a padlock with up to a 7mm shank can be used to secure the S2 to the PC and keep them from unplugging those devices and making a hasty getaway. These features also slow your entry into the PC, but most of the time when I build and overclock my rigs, I only need to be inside for the first day or two, and I rarely get in them other than to clean them, so the delay for access isn't a huge issue for me.
The case airflow is definitely top notch and near dead silent during its operation. I should also reiterate at this point that the sample we received is considered to be a pre-production sample and the folks at BitFenix are still running over the finer details before beginning mass shipments in the near future.
With everything considered, the only downside to this chassis is the time it takes the user to get access to the inside. I loved the security features, I really like the looks of the Survivor, and the Lockdown for the VGAs is a very cool solution to keeping the cards in place while riding in the back of the car. BitFenix has done it again, and offered one very accommodating solution, in mid tower chassis design. On top of the fact that you get this attractive and functional LAN inspired design, your wallet is going to love you. With a MSRP of $109.99 and due to be in stores soon, BitFenix offers a ton of bang for your hard earned buck!
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