BitFenix sends in a ninja.
Squidgy. That's the word that springs to mind when touching the SofTouch surface treatment of the Shinobi. Covering the edges and front of the case, this rubbery finish has the same slick matte black look that today's outlaw biker gangs favour on their custom hogs. The application of this scratch-resistant material on the edges is a clever touch, given that this is the area most commonly abused when moving your PC around.
Styled after the Monolith in 2001, the plain black design is as simple as cases get. With a solid front, it relies upon the top and rear grills to provide air circulation. Just a single fan is included in the box, so you'll need to shell out for up to six more to ensure your silicon doesn't reach meltdown.
There aren't any fancy trimmings on the outside of the case, just the usual four USB 2.0 ports alongside microphone and headphone inputs.
The interior is similarly bare, though the nicely rounded edges of every steel surface help to keep your fingers divot-free. It's all built Tonka tough, with no flexing or warping, even with plenty of weight on top of the case.
The removable motherboard mounting tray is now par for the course in today's cases, as are the water cooling inlets. Ditto with the tool-less drive mounts. Those who have experienced the nightmarish scenario of having to replace a heatsink mounting bracket will appreciate the gap on the motherboard tray, allowing quick HSF swaps without having to remove the entire motherboard.
And that's about it - unlike the last BitFenix case we reviewed, this is definitely a no-nonsense, low-tech affair. Given the very affordable price, that's fine by us. Available from BitFenix, retailing for $79. APC rating: 7/10