Introduction

Antec has been around a long time in the case industry, and as such they've learned how to do many things exceptionally well. If any sweeping statements could be made about their approach to product design, we would have to say that they always seem to aim right in the middle of marrying current demands for popular aesthetics with pushing the envelope implementing new ideas and features. This approach keeps their cases one step ahead of most of the competition - even at their competitive price points.

This balanced approach has been a great strategy for Antec and a few other case manufacturers for quite some time, but when Antec decided to be a little riskier than normal with their incredibly monolithic P180, they hit a sweet spot in the hearts of a lot of enthusiasts. With the themed and windowed cases that used to be so popular really just coming across as gimmicky to many PC builders, the P180's simplistic styling was a breath of fresh air. It was a bit of a stretch designing something so void of any character, but the design was combined with a few revolutionary yet fundamentally very simple functional characteristics. In the end, the case's fresh look helped it quickly rise to a level of popularity rarely seen in the computer case market.

Like any good manufacturer, Antec knew when they had something special on their hands. In addition to the regular silver P180, they released a black version of the case to a select few stores shortly after the original's release. Now as a follow up they have made an upgraded version of the case, coated it in a dark gunmetal gray finish, and dubbed it the P182. Additionally, they have simultaneously launched a Special Edition version which literally shines with a stunning mirror finish. Functionally, both P182 cases offer several compelling reasons to make them serious candidates for anyone's next desktop computer, either for their own unique look or their improvements in a few small areas. For our purposes Antec has sent us a Special Edition to review, but it only offers one more feature than the 'stock' P182 other than its shiny paint job, and that's just a special flexible interior spot light, so for all practical purposes this can be considered a review of the standard edition as well.

More information on the Antec P182 and P182SE can be found on Antec's website.

Exterior
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  • Anorax - Sunday, July 15, 2007 - link

    Hi Joshua. Just read this review. To be honest this is a fairly average review. What sets the P182 series apart from other cases is specifically the ability to route cables behind the backplate the motherboard is fixed to and between the rear case cover. There are cable ties, fixing points, and access holes for just this purpose.

    By removing the cable mess from the area over the motherboard you give the case a much better airflow and therefore lower overall ambient temperatures. You say the review was rushed but there would have been little if extra time involved in quickly routing the cables behind the keyboard.

    So really you have defeated the whole purpose for using this case in the first place. Sorry but a little more attention to detail next time would be good.
    Reply
  • Anorax - Sunday, July 15, 2007 - link

    The word *keyboard should read *motherboard. Reply
  • Jodiuh - Friday, April 13, 2007 - link

    Why must they continue to put the bottom 120 in the middle of the case? My HDD's will roast 10C hotter in that config as opposed to blowing cool air OVER the HDD's. :( Reply
  • Leth - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    You can move the middle mounted 120mm fan to the front of the case if you wish, or even add an extra so you have two 120mm's in the bottom part. Having two gives you a push/pull airflow setup for hd's mounted in the bottom ;) Reply
  • afilis - Friday, April 13, 2007 - link

    Correct me if i'm wrong but i haven't seen anywhere in the review if you can fit a pair of 8800gtx with both cages installed, as these gfx cards are extra long...?? Reply
  • bamacre - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Don't get me wrong, this case, and others have a lot of features not found in a Dell, but take a peek inside a Dell XPS 410 or Precision 390.

    Dell's assembly for the optical drives is one major thing that no other cases I have seen have tried to duplicate. The Precision 390 case design even allows for the changing of the optical drives to be rotated so that the system can be used as a desktop or a tower, and this change takes literally 90 seconds. It is just so incredibly easy to add or replace an optical drive in a Dell because of the case design.

    This complaint is personal but would apply to any of us who would only want one or two internal. Again, Dell's design for hard drives is so simply and yet so brilliant. Two pull-out plastic enclosures. No screws needed. Pull one out, slide in a hard drive, and pop it back in. It is just so easy, and this is definitely something that some case makers could easily implememnt.

    Reference:
    http://www.majortoker.com/images/xps410a_04.jpg">http://www.majortoker.com/images/xps410a_04.jpg

    The hard drive enclosures are located on the bottom left and center.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 13, 2007 - link

    Already done http://www.anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=28...">months ago. A quote you'll probably agree with:

    quote:

    It's almost a shame that most people that purchase an XPS 410 are unlikely to appreciate the ease with which the system can be upgraded.


    That said, the XPS 410 chassis is not designed to house dual GPUs or a variety of other options. It's a good all-in-one system for a non-enthusiast (i.e. people that don't care about overclocking), but it's not inexpensive either.
    Reply
  • bamacre - Friday, April 13, 2007 - link

    Yeah, I remember the article, it was very good actually.

    But what I meant to say was that other case-makers should implement some of the nice features that Dell has in their cases.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 13, 2007 - link

    Ah, I see... maybe they want to avoid patent infringement lawsuits? ;)

    One possibility is that they want to make sure their cases are more compatible. You have to be able to fit anything from an old P3 up through the latest Core 2 Quad or X2 in a standard ATX case. Part of the reason Dell cases can be easy to work with is that they are often designed for a specific, proprietary motherboard. I'm still surprised we haven't seen more screwless designs that actually work well, however.
    Reply
  • bamacre - Friday, April 13, 2007 - link

    Yes, patent infringement is certainly a possibility.

    And yes, Dell has an edge in that they are specifically made for their motherboards. They've done a good job utilizing that, too. One particular nice feature is that blue thing that gives physical support for heavier video cards, to prevent them from bending over time. I work on a lot of Dells, I've replaced everything possible in the xps 410 and Prec 390, except for the case/mobo/psu. They are just so damn easy to work with. Even replacing the cpu is a breeze.
    Reply

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