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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  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    IF they do sell for $170usd, I would have to say that is too much. I have seen the regular P180's at around $100 usd, and sometimes less. Having said that, I personally own a Lian-Li PC-G50(silver), and while without buying the add-on 3x5.25" to 4x3.5" drive converter, you would not be able to get more than 3 drives in it. Now, I do own one of these bay converters, and I do have 4 HDDs internally (soon to be 6), and I have to say, comparred to this case, it is much more of a bargin. Keep in mind that I am a fan of Antec, and I love the fact they make good, solid cases (and PSUs), that are very functional, with lots of room.

    This Lian-Li case I own, is also far more in-expensive, made of 100% aluminum, looks very good( clean, no bright colors, or 'fancy' lines ), very functional, is a reverse ATX layout (if you are into that sort of thing), very quiet, even with the stock fans, and is only 15" tall ! Add the bay converter kit, and you start to encroach on the Antec case in price.

    Now the one major thing I have as an issue with my own case . . . No room for a HUGE third party CPU fan, in fact, the best I could probably fit in it, would be the cooler supplied with some AMD Opterons, which is exactly what I bought, just have not put it in yet.

    All in all, I'd have to say, the P182SE sure is a flashy case, probably too bright for me, and I would probably prefer a black P180 instead. That being said, the internal layout is pretty dahmed nice.
    Reply
  • BPB - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Forget about $170usd. Here's http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">Newegg's pricing: $229.99 + $23.72 for shipping for a total of $253.71! Yikes, that's awfully high. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    The review stated that the normal P182 is around $170, with the SE version (which you linked to) at $230 Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Still, for $250, you can get a very nice Lian Li case, somethign I myself would preffer. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Forget about newegg, they tend to jack up prices because . . . Someone gave the item a good review, people are buying it moderatly and they have a script that jacks the price up(cost, and demand), and hardly seem to be in a big hurry keeping the 'hot' item in stock.

    I bet if you froogle around, you'll find someone like eWiz, ZZF, or mWave has it for a much better price. All of thee companies are as reputable as newegg, just some of them do not have as good shipping (ZZF usually has free shipping on everything though), and may take up to 7 working days to arrive at the doorstep . . .
    Reply
  • cbuchach - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Yes, I own a P180. The case is great except for the fact that all the cables from the bottom power supply/hard drive compartment route through the panel opening. The new cable routing features, instead of the mirror finish should have been the focus as in my opinion this is the best update to the case. Reply
  • Gigahertz19 - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    I'm definitely interested in this case for my new comp build at the end of this summer. My goal is to try and build a computer that is dead silent, I want to be able to sleep in the same room at night with my computer 10 feet away and not hear a single whisper. Not sure if this is possible with air cooling but I'll try, so would most people say this is the silentest case you can buy? Reply
  • tydas - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Well, I did not go for a silent build but I wanted quiet and with the p180B and my components its very quiet. I'd imagine with the right components like samsung HD, fan less cpu and fan less cpu it could be done. A nice 120mm fan with low rpm is silent so it comes down to components.

    Reply
  • hubajube - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Nice case but doesn't allow for good cable management. It looks like a rats nest in there. Oh well, I guess I'll keep my Aspire case for a few more years. Reply
  • JoshuaBuss - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Actually that's not true at all.. there are a ton of options for cable management. I just didn't take the time to manage them all very carefully because we wanted to get this review out asap. Reply

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