The NZXT Manta mITX Case Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on June 16, 2016 9:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Mini ITX
The Exterior of the NZXT Manta
With a postmodern design sporting curved panels and smooth surfaces, the NZXT Manta is designed to stand out from the crowd. As we will see in the following sections, the curved panels are not just for show, adding to the functionality of the case. However, they also increase the width of an already significantly large Mini-ITX case. Measuring 42.6 cm tall, 24.5 cm wide and 45 cm deep (16.8 × 9.7 × 17.7 in), resulting to a volume of 47 liters, the Manta is massive for a Mini-ITX case. It is just 3% smaller than the Zalman Z9 Neo, a full ATX case, and nearly 60% larger than the Cougar QBX, which also is a tower Mini-ITX case. NZXT clearly was not very concerned about making the Manta compact, only to have a high performance gaming tower reduced down to Mini-ITX motherboard dimensions.
We received the black version of the Manta with a windowed side panel. NZXT also offers white and windowless versions. The satin black paint is very smooth to the touch and slightly resistant to fingermarks. On the other hand, the glossy acrylic window that NZXT installed is highly reflective, making it almost impossible to see inside the Manta from a large angle or if the lighting inside the case is poor. The “rainbow” effect seen in some of our pictures is caused by the camera’s polarizing filter, which is unsuccessfully trying to filter all of the lighting reflected by the acrylic panel.
11.2oz soda can inserted as a size reference.
The front panel of the Manta is entirely plain. There are no external drive bays, no buttons and no ports to be found on it. NZXT is even supplying their own company logo with the case’s bundle, allowing the users to choose where (and if) they want it adhered.
In order to reach the intake fan filter, the front panel needs to be removed. This is an easy task, as the panel can come off by simply pulling it from its bottom. The intake filter is a simple nylon filter that cannot stop small particles but can be easily cleaned and reused any number of times.
A closer look in between the side panels and the main body of the case reveals vents, which explains where the front intake fans draw air in from and where the air pushed by the top exhaust fans goes, as there are no other visible openings on the main panels of the case. This approach however undoubtedly adds a significant amount of air flow resistance that can adversely impact the performance of the cooling fans.
The front I/O ports and buttons can be found at the top panel. A large power on button can be seen to the left side of the panel, while two USB 3.0 ports and 3.5mm audio jacks have been installed to the right side of the panel. There is no door or cover for the USB/audio ports.
A look at the rear of the NZXT Manta reveals the presence of a 120 mm exhaust fan, which also hints that the case is just a shorter version of a gaming tower system. NZXT placed the PSU compartment at the bottom of the case.
The NZXT Manta stands on two very wide U-shaped legs. Four long anti-slip rubber pads keep the Manta from slipping on virtually any surface. A nylon filter can be seen covering the PSU intake, which can be removed from the back of the case.
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jimjamjamie - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - linkDoes it have a valve so that you can deflate it?
DanNeely - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - linkIt's a feature. It's screwed up lines mean that even a reviewer who doesn't know how to take good product photos will have all of their flaws hidden by the WTFs in the case design itself.
damianrobertjones - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link+1
The photos, for this article, are terrible.
HideOut - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - linkBut the case looks like a mini pregnant guppy.
ddriver - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - linkIt looks like it was already used, and the system in it suffered a terrible meltdown.
fanofanand - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - linkI thought they were fine. This is a tech site not a photography site.
BrokenCrayons - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - linkPhotos were adequate for getting the point across. I'd prefer the reviewers put more of their limited time into reviewing a product and writing about it as opposed to setting up glam shots for hardware.
Murloc - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - linkyeah companies create enough of those.
Plus I want to see how the case looks in real life as well, so pics have to be unrefined.
deanx0r - Sunday, June 19, 2016 - linkExcept that aesthetics are an essential part of a case. Most people wouldn't even bother with review of cases they find ugly or uninteresting. It isn't hard to take decent photos. The poor photo quality isn't balanced by the outstanding content of the review either. Their case reviews tend to be generic, borderline mediocre. If anything the poor picture quality just shows a lack of effort from the reviewers.
BrokenCrayons - Monday, June 20, 2016 - linkI guess I wouldn't understand. My desktop case sits in a corner, hidden behind a shelf unit. I see it once in a while when I need to press the power button to turn it on. As long as it keeps the parts inside it in the places where I put them and provides enough airflow for cooling, I could care less what it looks like. When I'm playing games on it, I'm streaming them and sitting in different room with my laptop. So for me, the looks of my computer's case is as unimportant as the color of the plastic of my hair dryer.
Sure, some people are a lot more superficial about what the box looks like which is why there's a market for fashionable cases that have the right sparkles and sunshine in the right places. Those people seeking a certain style are willing to pay for it so from a company perspective, there's no reason not to release a product in order to reap in larger per-unit margins.
However, taking pics for a review? Whatever. Throw it on your kitchen table, shoot a few photos of it. I don't even care if there's a few dishes loitering in your drying rack in the background. You guys are too picky and its a good thing that most of your spouses, girlfriends, and boyfriends aren't doing that in a more important context than a review of some silly computer case otherwise all those rashes, gaseous emissions, obesity, and body odors would doom the human race.