BitFenix Shinobi Window review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 08/14/2011 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
The BitFenix Shinobi Window is a lovely chassis within it's range. It has an elegant and simple design. It's priced fair and has good looks.
There however are some small concerns that I can not wrap my head around though. Personally I think the chassis could have been designed a notch better in some segments. The metal sheets feel somewhat thin and bendy, there are no USB 3.0 connectors to be found, stuff like that all is a bit of a loss, but surely these things are nothing dramatic.
My main concern with the chassis has to be the positioning of the HDD drive cage. See once installed the HDDs point inwards towards your motherboard and installed components, meaning lots of wires, clutter and less space I can imagine with a lengthy beefy graphics card that installing a HDD in the upper segment of the cage becomes a near impossibility. Don't get me wrong, overall there's space enough, but once you have HDDs there with wires leading out ... it's an issue.
The retention/securing mechanism for the HDDs do not have my preference either, they feel a little flimsy and to install a HDD you have to take of both side panels, only then can secure your HDD. Also it would be great to see some rubber protection to stop HDD's from resonating and vibrating noises. So for the future I'd like to suggest to BitFenix look into a 90 degrees angle drive cage (HDD pointing towards you when installing). It saves space and would look much cleaner. A better HDD mounting system is something they need to look into as well. That's all remarks wise though..
The chassis looks great though, and the all inner black design works out great. We like the big mainboard tray cutout for CPU cooler, behind the motherboard you'll get decent but not great space for cable management. Inside there is space enough to work in, but as stated, installed HDDs could be a problem. We did try a lengthy graphics card and there is space enough for the longest ones if you do not have a HDD sitting behind it. We doubt you'd use eight HDDs anyway, so move them a little lower and you're all set to go.
Okay so the chassis otherwise is well though through and comes with the standards like dust filters, not on the side panel though. Compared to the new Corsair Carbine 400R the Shinobi Window is going to be a harder sell though, the difference is only 20 bucks and a chassis like the Carbine offers much more space, has a way more sturdy design, comes with full USB 3.0 support, better cable management, a lot of grommet holes and room 8 card slots. Heck, for the same money you can also pick up 690 II advanced from CoolerMaster, that one as well offers a more rich design and additional features that the Shinobi lacks.
So with that in mind we feel that the BitFenix Shinobi Window mid-tower chassis sits a little in the middle of everything, in all fairness it is priced slightly lower then the competition. The latest mid-towers from the competition have raised the bar though, and compared to that the Shinobi Window is not the greatest mid-tower chassis in terms of features, design wise, it's a keeper though.
Currently we spot the BitFenix Shinobi Window at a sales price of roughly 69 USD and 70 EUR here in the Netherlands. That certainly is not a bad deal for what you are receiving but as stated the competition is tough. But regardless of the few caveats we mentioned it sure is a nice looking and feature rich chassis that is plenty sufficient for the mainstream PC end-user. At roughly 70 bucks it offers good value for money and the looks might easily outweigh the smaller quirks for you.
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BitFenix recently released an extension to the original model, the Shinobi "Window" edition chassis. An affordable yet elegant chassis solution. Tagged with a 69 USD price tag this chassis is locked and loaded as mid-tower case with its crosshair aimed at gamers. While the regular Shinobi has a solid steel side panel and one 120mm fan, the Shinobi Window is a little more advanced and offers a tinted side window as well as an extra 120mm fan and tool-free drive locking mechanisms.