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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  • Icepick - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    They already did test it back in 2005. http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2670&p...">http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2670&p...
    Well, they tested the P150 but, it's identical to the Solo (power supply excepted, of course).
    Reply
  • BPB - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Actually, even excluding the power supply, they are not 100% identical. The P150 uses "trap doors" to cover the 5.25" and 3.5" drives. I don't mind it, but many do. It you like to use things like the headphone jack on a DVD drive or see the activity light, then you may not want the P150 anyway. Of course the Solo is cheaper due mainly to its lack of PSU, but in my opinion the Solo is not as good looking. I own both. Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    quote:

    "If you like to use things like the headphone jack on a DVD drive "


    Wow, do people actually use that? The last time I did was 1996 when I had my first computer and tried that jack out with a pair of headphones just to see how it worked. :D
    Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    (obviously referring to a CD-ROM drive btw, not a DVD-ROM drive) Reply
  • BPB - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Not so http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">obvious! Click on the image and you will see, why strong wording and the truth, do not always agree.

    My experience is that many folks use the jack at work if the PC enclosure doesn't have a front headphone jack. And my experience is many work PC's at large, cheap companies do not.
    Reply
  • BPB - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    I agree. I got the Solo for about $40 (shipped) from Outpost recently. That, of course, is after rebate. I wanted something smaller and quiet. I also have the P150, which is almost identical to the Solo. I'm not sure which I prefer. Still, if I decided I wanted to go back to a taller case, this would probably be at the top of my list. I'd have to wait for a special though, the list price is simply too high. By the way, I believe the Solo and P150 support 3 suspension mounts, not 4. The following are from the specs listed at Newegg:
    quote:

    4x 3.5” (Tray Mount) or 3 x 3.5” (Suspension Mount) for HDD
    Reply
  • Spanki - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    I'm not sure if it happened earlier than the 182 rev or not, but the mb tray has also been inset a bit from early 180s. This gives room 'behind' the mb tray to run some of the power cables (I have my big, primary 24-pin power cable running up the back of the mb, out of the way).

    Also, I ordered the P180B from Newegg at the beginning of March and what I recieved was basically a P182, but painted black, instead of gun-metal grey. Apparently Antec/Newegg started shiping these hybrid models out in late Feb. - others have reported this as well.
    Reply
  • Richey02hg - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    so you are basically getting a black p182 (the color i'd want) for the price of a p180? Reply
  • Spanki - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Yes. As far as I can tell, the case I got is the one shown in the first few photo's http://www.silentpcreview.com/article717-page1.htm...">on this page. Reply
  • MadAd - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link


    Yes I bought a 180B a couple of weeks ago, it too has the twin switches externally accessible for the rear fans plus space behind the motherboard for wire routing.

    A plus was being able to fit a 120x38mm fan infront of the middle tray (just) because I simply do not like 25mm wide 120s so took them all out, speedfan is great for controlling fan arrays so the tri-switched fans were less than useful compared to my own.

    Cons were that I needed to buy a 12v4 extension as my seasonic s12 would not make the stretch to the top 12v on the A8N32-SLI mobo, also I still cannot see the point of the PSU cage when it has the 4x standard bolt holes in the rear, another useless item that is now thrown in a box to gather dust.

    The rubber grommets that hold the hard drives in were also a bit flimsy and easily distorted before a good grip was had and also the top toolless optical mounting jams in somewhat.

    Otherwise its a great case for cooling, my temps have never been lower and even while gaming speedfan rarely has to bump them up, whereas before in my old case with the same fans, just 10 minutes of BF2 and up went the temps making the fans lift...Ill have to wait for summer to see how good it really is but do far im impressed with the cooling ability.
    Reply

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