As Mini-ITX systems are moving away from the old slow systems they used to represent and are becoming more powerful with high-end hardware, they become more and more appealing to enthusiasts and gamers. Many companies design cases for Mini-ITX motherboards, with the usual design approach being the minimization of their external dimensions, as designers are striving to fit them into modern living rooms alongside gaming consoles and home cinema equipment.

Introduction

Very small Mini-ITX based cases that can hold powerful gaming systems do exist, but they do have a fair share of limitations - especially when it comes to cooling. Perhaps the most prominent example is the Fractal Design Node 202, a Mini-ITX case that rivals the size of gaming consoles and can hold a rather powerful gaming system, but with very limited cooling and power options.

NZXT is a company that took an entirely different approach with their Mini-ITX design. The company is known among gamers and enthusiasts for providing functional designs with high thermal performance. As such, the company has decided to design the Manta, a tower case reduced to fit Mini-ITX motherboards while still providing enough space for sizable air coolers and liquid cooling radiators.

NZXT Manta
Motherboard Size Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External -
Internal 2 × 3.5"
3 × 2.5"
Cooling Front 2 × 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm (2 × 120 mm included)
Rear 1 × 120 mm (included)
Top 2 × 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm (none included)
HDD -
Bottom -
Radiator Support Front Up to 240 mm or 280 mm
Rear Up to 120 mm
Top Up to 240 mm or 280 mm
Side -
Bottom -
I/O Port 2× USB 3.0, 0× USB 2.0, 1× Headphone, 1× Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 160 mm
PSU 360 mm
GPU 360 mm
Dimensions 426 mm × 245 mm × 450 mm
16.77 in × 9.65 in × 17.72 in
Prominent Features · New manufacturing technology offers unparalleled build quality
· Elegant, curved steel paneling and window
· Double the cable management space
· Dual 280mm liquid cooling support
· Kraken X61-ready with push/pull capabilities
· Integrated PSU shroud for a beautifully clean build
· Fully filtered, easy-to-remove intake
Price $130

Packaging & Bundle

NZXT is obviously not concerned about the looks of their packaging at all, as they ship the Manta into a plain brown cardboard box. If not for the small sticker on the side, nobody would be able to tell what is inside the packaging. Nevertheless, the box is very sturdy and the case is sandwiched between thick Styrofoam slabs, providing more than enough shipping protection.

The bundle of the Manta is very austere for a case with a $130 price tag, with the company supplying only the necessary mounting screws and hardware, a case sticker and a roll of small cable ties.

The Exterior of the NZXT Manta
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  • jimjamjamie - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    Does it have a valve so that you can deflate it? Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    It'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. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    +1
    The photos, for this article, are terrible.
    Reply
  • HideOut - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    But the case looks like a mini pregnant guppy. Reply
  • ddriver - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    It looks like it was already used, and the system in it suffered a terrible meltdown. Reply
  • fanofanand - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    I thought they were fine. This is a tech site not a photography site. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    Photos 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. Reply
  • Murloc - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    yeah 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.
    Reply
  • deanx0r - Sunday, June 19, 2016 - link

    Except 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. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, June 20, 2016 - link

    I 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.
    Reply

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