Exterior

There is really no point in skirting around the P182 SE's most fantastic selling point. Both side panels and the front door are coated in an incredibly well polished stainless steel finish.

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The finish is so clean in fact, we found it hard to really take a good picture of the case. Faced with this challenge, we figured it might be best to just take a few pictures of exactly what we saw when photographing the unit.

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Just as the original P180 and all of its siblings, the P182 SE does not have much at all on the front side when the door is closed. "Antec" is embossed in the top right corner, but other than that only the ports and a lock for the panel are visible.


The case comes with two USB ports, a FireWire port, headphone and microphone jacks, as well as power and reset buttons all accessible on the front of the case. When the door is closed, the power and reset buttons are covered -- a good way to keep prying hands away from your system.


Getting back to the finish and its reflectivity though, the side panel in particular could almost be suitable as a replacement for most bathroom mirrors.

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As soon as the door is opened, however, we are greeted with the familiar sight of a matte black plastic finish encompassing the power and reset buttons. The door is magnetically latched and it takes just the right amount of effort to open it up. It also hinges back all the way to the side of the case for users who would prefer to have it always open. Like its predecessors, the P182 SE allows for four 5.25" drives, one 3.5" drive, and gives easy access to both 120mm fan filters for cleaning.

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One of the bigger additions to the P182 over the P180 is the inclusion of externally accessible switches for the top two fans on the back at the top of the case. This of course makes its way into the special edition as well, which is quite an improvement over having to take off the side panel and find the switch for each tri-cool fan. The soft rubber water tubing ports make their appearance on the back too, for an easier installation of external water cooling kits.

Index Interior
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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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