Whether you've heard the character referred to as the Dark Night, the Caped Crusader, or even something entirely off the wall, the concept behind this design is more than a little obvious. Coming out just after the release of the latest movie, the BAT enclosure is based on the popular DC Comics here, Batman. The masked face is currently available in three color choices of red, blue and white. The eyes are LED lighted and have a semi-bright glow in the dark. The black area at the base of the front bezel, where you would imagine is the mouth, is actually a plastic covering over a vented area to allow for air circulation inside the case.
Swinging the face out of the way shows us the available drive options. In this case we're talking about a total of four 5.25" optical devices and two externally accessible 3.5" devices. The door is mostly plastic with a painted red metal accent. For those with a sharp eye, you've noticed there is no means of securing the front door. To keep it closed, there is a small magnet on the unhinged side that keeps everything hidden nicely.
Since we've become accustomed to the convenience of front mounted ports, the BAT enclosure keeps up with this tradition by having I/O ports mounted to the top/front portion of the case. On our test model we have a pair of USB outlets as well as headphone and microphone jacks. Available as an option is a IEEE1394 Firewire port. To either side of these ports you see the reset button and the power button. The two buttons are always external but the I/O ports can be hidden from view by the plastic cover that closes the ports to give a more streamlined appearance.
Moving along to the side of the case shows the wings of our hero. This blackened area is molded plastic covering the steel enclosure. Toward the bottom is a vented area with no associated fan and by the wing tip is another vented area that is used for the side mounted fan, which is included. The metal has a smooth appearance and the gloss is done well, but it is a thin coating of paint so be careful not to mar the finish, as it will detract from the overall appearance of the enclosure.
Also take note of the fluted angles toward the top/front part of the design. These molded plastic pieces have a surprisingly clean look and the parts actually met at the proper place. This is not always a common feature of a case with this much plastic molding attached.
Checking out the back of the case shows nothing too much out of the ordinary, but as we have to be able to use industry standard components, this isn't a surprise. We have all the expected features to be used with the ATX form factor. There is also a place for a pair of 80mm fans to allow for rear exhaust, but no fans were included in the default offering.
While officially inside the box, we'll cover this portion here since it is attached to the side panel. The side mounted fan visible here has a funnel attached. This is a more recent development that allows for an intake fan to direct cool outside air directly onto the processor area of the system. While the concept has merit, I found that many motherboards do not align properly with this funnel (particularly the Athlon64 based boards), so it becomes a chunk of plastic that is in the way. It also isn't useful for systems that make use of large heatsinks.
Fortunately the funnel can be removed easily by removing the four screws that keep it secured in place. The fan can then be used as a normal side mounted type typically used to aid in overall case airflow. Since the fan itself is already oriented as an intake, you won't have to make any changes in air direction.
Also of note is the painted inside of the side panel. This is something that is not normally seen on many enclosures, as it is an easy way to shave a few pennies from the build.
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