It seems all of the kinks have been worked out with the relationship between TweakTown and Fractal Design. I can only assume they approved of my review of the Define R3 because they keep sending me cases like the one I am about to bring to you today. Only having one product to view in the beginning hadn't really delivered the hype of what Fractal Design was getting all over the forums. As I took a look at the latest submission after seeing a few other manufacturer submissions, I do see some qualities that do make me think the Fractal Design cases are a step above others in their league. By this I mean that there is a "feel" and a "presence" that the Fractal Design cases offer, that took me a bit to fully appreciate.
These things may be subtle and most users may think "ah, I don't need that sort of thing", but let me tell you, when compared to other choices on the market, there are things that make the Fractal Design solutions sit on top of that hill of cases you have to look through when making the decision to buy a new case. In these cases, there is a really rigid frame and thickness to the elements that comprise these builds. I would almost go as far as to compare it to the liking of a professional grade tool versus something you get on eBay for $1.99; it just has that secure and sturdy feel to it that makes you think you could use it as a footstool, although I don't suggest you do that.
Then of course there is the sound deadening solutions built into the Define chassis that I can really appreciate. Even if you don't think you need it, once you use a chassis with measures taken as in these chassis, it makes the rubber pads installed on panels look like a joke. Here the matting used is like when we used to hang carpet in the basement to deaden the sounds of my drums. There is a huge difference to not be heard with these solutions.
Today, as the title alluded to, I am going to be looking at the smaller chassis to carry the Define name, the Fractal Design Mini. This chassis offers pretty much everything of what the R3 brought us, but this time the form factor of the chassis has been dropped into a design for Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. The reason I addressed the two points I did above was to also show that just because they made the case smaller for people who base builds off of smaller motherboards and room is an issue, you don't have to give up any quality or integrity to what makes the Fractal Design cases what they are.
What is that exactly? It is a clean and subtle exterior look as well as sound proofing that is as important of a part as the design as the thick and sturdy construction is, to deliver you a chassis you will use for years to come.
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At Fractal Design, our mission is to deliver products with an extraordinary design level, without compromising the important factors of quality, functionality and value. The MSRP of the Define Mini is $99USD as compared to the Define R3's MSRP of $109USD. Our partners have the flexibility to determine product pricing as well as shipping costs on Fractal Design products as it relates to their market and customer base. As such, product pricing can differ and may at different times may be priced either greater or less than MSRP. The current pricing on the Define Mini as of 4/25/2012 on Newegg is $99USD with $9.99 shipping and can be found at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352011.