Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Thinking back to when we first laid our eyes on the Carbide Series Air 540, we knew Corsair was onto something good. There was just so much to like in that chassis. The main feature of Air 540 design was the dual chambered layout. This layout allowed the motherboard, GPUs, and some of the cooling options to be visible through the large side window, while the PSU, wiring, storage, and even more cooling options were to be found in the second compartment. This shrunk the height of the chassis considerably, and caused the chassis design to lean toward a cube since it is much wider than a typical chassis. Along with the attractive interior, the exterior of this chassis was simplistic, with venting done in a way that really made these cases stand out in the crowd.
As soon as that design was released, we had a strong feeling that Corsair would be back with yet another chassis design for the Carbide Air Series; and we were correct. This time around, Corsair is giving their Small Form Factor clients something to seriously consider when looking for a chassis. Of course, we have seen many SFF chassis designs, including everything from the Lian-Li Suitcase that is still one of the tiniest SFF designs we have ever seen, on through the more popular Prodigy and Prodigy M designs. However, with what Corsair brought forth with this SSF design, the typical boundaries associated with the Small Form Factor naming have been stretched.
The chassis we have today is indeed the little brother to the very successful Air 540, even despite its long winded name. Today we will be looking over the Carbide Series Air 240 Arctic White High Airflow Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX PC Case. In this design, we find almost everything that made the original such a hit with builders, gamers, and modders. Of course, with a slight size reduction to this new release, certain things had to be omitted, but that does not in any way mean that you should count out the Air 240 prematurely, as this chassis is still very impressive in its smaller form.
The Air 240 comes in two color choices, there is black, and then there is the arctic white version we received. Both versions weigh in at 5.6 kilograms, are 397mm in length, 260mm in width, and stand 320mm tall. We also see that Corsair lists the form factor as a Micro-ATX chassis, but it will house the smaller Mini-ITX motherboards as well.
The main frame of the chassis and most of the components inside are made of steel, but there are also rubber grommets, plastic trays for storage drives, and of course, the top, front, and bottom are all skinned with ABS plastic panels. One other thing to note about this design that does not show up on the list is that this chassis omits any kind of optical bay drive slot.
On the inside, the left half, or the main compartment of the chassis, is where the motherboard is held. This side also offers four expansion slots with a swing-plate locking system toward the rear of the chassis, and above that there is room for an optional pair of 80mm fans. The top of the chassis on this side offers room for a pair of 120mm fans, with one supplied in this location.
The front of the chassis also offers room for a pair of 120mm fans, and both locations are supplied with fans here. The floor of the chassis will also house a pair of 120mm fans, and both the front location and the floor will allow for radiator and AIO support. As far as roominess is concerned, there is 290mm of length for video cards, and only 120mm of room for anyone planning to air cool their CPU in this chassis.
The right side of the chassis offers a three bay rack in the front, right at the top, and this is removable. There is another location to mount this rack in the floor, and that is where three 2.5" drive bays are. To the back of the chassis, again at the top, there is another three bay rack; this rack houses 3.5" drives, but the trays are also drilled for more 2.5" storage as well.
The lower half of the right side is completely open, but the rear of the chassis features the PSU location. The PSU will be installed on its side here, with a maximum length set at 225mm. The side panel that covers this area is ventilated to allow the PSU fan some fresh intake. Toward the front of the chassis there is also a location for a 120mm fan to add a bit of airflow for the storage drives.
On top of all this chassis can do, how well it does it, and just how slick a finished build looks inside of it, we also really dig the pricing. For less than $100, you are going to get either a black or white chassis that is only similar to one other chassis on the planet as far as aesthetics and layout are concerned. The only other similar chassis to come to mind is the Node, and its aesthetics and layout are not quite the same; it doesn't have the flair that the Carbide Air Series cases offer. In every venue we considered that had stock of this chassis, we found they are sticking to the MSRP listed on the Corsair site, which is $89.99. That is only $10 more than the Prodigy released at. If you like small, but aren't in the market for the tiniest case available, then Corsair has just the case you have been hunting for, and at a really great price point.
PRICING: You can find the Corsair Carbide Series Air 240 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.