Antec pushes forward

Antec is here with a new set of cases to address the enthusiast market, starting with the new P280, part of the Performance One Series. Take a look!

Sometimes, when you right something correctly the first time, it still fits:

Antec is one of the most storied brands when it comes to enthusiast class components like cases and power supplies.  Unfortunately, the whims of the gamer change on a breeze as most will swap between company allegiances whenever the performance or features dictate.  Antec has fallen into this trap over the last few years as many in the community moved on from the likes of the ever-present P180 to newer and more innovative designs from other companies.  Having realized this internally and making moves to take care of that slide, Antec is going to start producing some modern cases with improved specifications.

I wrote those words as the introduction to our Antec SOLO II review and they still stand true.  The SOLO II was a good case for its small size but the new Antec P280 attempts to reenergize the excitement around the Performance One series of cases, well known for the P180/190 lineage.  The P280 continues with specific features like the 270 degree swinging door and sound dampening material but does it offer up enough additional features to catch the competition that has passed Antec? 

Check out our video review below and continue reading if you want to see a collection of still photos and our final thoughts!

Overall, I think the new Antec P280 is a great case for the price, coming in at $139 (and likely lower) at launch.  The case offers what I would now call "staple" features like the grommeted cable routing openings around the motherboard and a large CPU cooler installation opening while keeping what made the Performance One series of cases great including sound dampening material on the front door and side panels and the classic swinging door.  Extras like the dedicated 2.5-in drive bays, rubber feet for the standard 3.5-in HDDs, 9 expansion slots and the side access fan filter for the power supply really show that Antec is moving in the right direction again. 

Continue reading our Antec P280 review for photos and commentary!!

There are no fans on either side panel of the P280 – the focus here is noise over cooling performance.

The door doesn’t hide any buttons or connections this time around – a change from the cases first showing at Computex 2011. 

USB 3.0 headers are included.

The optional case fans that can be installed here have a dedicated and easily removable fan filter.

There are nine expansion slots on this system supporting 4-Way SLI / CrossFire in the motherboard lays things out correctly.

A dual-speed fan controller.

The silver front panel material definitely looks nice, but seems to grab fingerprints easily.

A solid, polycarbonate material that is basically highly compressed plastic helps keep noise inside the P280.

Finally!  A removable PSU fan intake filter that you can access from the side of the system with the door on or off!

Lots of hard drive bays including two dedicated 2.5-in locations at the very top.  Around the motherboard are quite a few cable routing openings.

The P280 has a large opening for CPU cooler installation purposes.

The P280 sports drive trays with rubber pads to limit drive vibration throughout the system.

Be sure to check out the video review for all of our thoughts on this new case from Antec!!