Akasa’s no-frills Zen is one of the cheapest cases here but it’s well built, with internal edges that have been ground down and folded over so you won’t cut yourself.
A sliding panel in the front fascia conceals header ports for two USB connections, headphones and a microphone. There’s enough room inside for a standard ATX motherboard and, with seven blanking plates at the back, you’ll easily be able to use all your motherboard’s slots.
The Zen has two externally accessible 3?in bays, which you can use to fit memory card readers, floppy drives and other devices that you’ll need to access from the front. Below these are four internal 3?in drive bays for hard disks. You’ll have to screw all your 3?in drives and disks into place the old-fashioned way, and there’s no cleverly designed cage to minimise vibration or aid cooling.
We were particularly pleased to find two 120mm, 1,200 RPM system fans, one at the front of the case and the other at the back, to provide good airflow throughout. The large fans also keep noise to a minimum. There are no additional fan mounting points but the side of the case is vented. The Zen’s four 5?in bays use convenient plastic rails to hold your optical drives securely in place.
The Zen won’t suit power users with special cooling and sound-proofing requirements, but it’s a great choice for a budget PC.
|Total Firewire ports
|Total eSATA ports
|Internal Drive bays 3 1/2in
|5.25in drive bays
|Power supply wattage
|one year RTB