NZXT Manta Mini-ITX Enclosure Review: Maxi-Mini
Introduction and First Impressions
The NZXT Manta is a mini-ITX enclosure that boasts better than average room for components and cooling, and is packaged in a rather unusual, rounded design.
There is a reason for the Manta's somewhat bulbous appearance, and it's part of a recent trend in mini-ITX enclosure design; bigger is better. While you might think that mITX is all about fitting components into the smallest enclosure possible, there have been some recent examples of cases which expand the chassis to micro-ATX sizes (or above).
The Manta from NZXT is actually large enough to be a micro-ATX case, and its total volume exceeds their S340 enclosure; a full ATX design (!). So why on earth would you want a mini-ITX enclosure with that much volume? Three words: cooling, cooling, and cooling.
As you can see from NZXT's graphic above, the Manta's protruding top and front panels provide a the additional space needed to allow for thicker cooling setups.
Before we dive in for a closer look at the new Manta enclosure, let's take a look at the full specs from NZXT:
- Motherboard Support: mini-ITX
- Expansion Slots: 2
- Drive Bays
- Internal 3.5”: 2
- Internal 2.5”: 3
- Cooling System
- Front: 2 x 140/120mm (2 x 120mm included)
- Top: 2 x 140/120mm
- Rear: 1 x 120mm (Included)
- Radiator Support
- Front: Up to 280mm
- Top: Up to 280mm
- Rear: 120mm
- CPU Clearance: 160mm
- GPU Clearance: 363mm
- PSU Length: 363mm
- Power Supply Support: ATX
- External Electronics:
- I/O Panel LED On/Off
- 1x Audio/Mic
- USB 3.0
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 245 x 426 x 450mm (9.65 x 16.77 x 17.72 inches)
- Weight: 7.2 kg (15.87 lbs)
Our thanks to NZXT for providing the Manta enclosure for our review.
At first glance the Manta is a departure from the typical enclosure design. The rounded panels are built around a standard rectangular frame, so it's really quite conventional underneath.
The look from the front of the enclosure really shows off the rounded sides, and this will certainly not be everyone's favorite look - but anything beyond the norm tends be divisive in this market.
The rear of the enclosure shows standard lower PSU mount, a pair of espansion bays (this is mini-ITX, after all), and a 120 mm fan mount (with pre-installed exhaust fan).
Moving to the sides of the Manta, which features a large window to show off the build, with the opposite side a solid panel.
The top of the enclosure looks (to me at least) like the hood of a car, and enclosure I/O is located along one edge.
Certainly this rounded design won't appeal to everyone, but I rather liked it.
Next we have a look at the bottom of the Manta, which sits on some substantial feet. There are rubber pads to provide a vibration-free foundation, and we also see one of the two removable screen filters down here (for the PSU intake).
The filter for the PSU conveniently slides out toward the rear of the case for easy cleaning.
And here's a quick look at the included accessory pack, which nicely separates the various screws into different, labeled bags:
Next we'll look at the interior of the NZXT Manta.