The BitFenix Pandora ATX Case Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on August 11, 2016 9:00 AM EST
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The Exterior of the BitFenix Pandora ATX
The BitFenix Pandora ATX sports the same modern design that made the original Pandora famous, with smooth surfaces and side panels that extend to the front of the case as flaps. The design concept is not new as there were a few cases similar to the Pandora in the past (e.g. ThermalTake Armor), but the Pandora was the first where the flaps were a continuous part of the side panels, combined with having no external drive bays at all. The newer version that we are reviewing today is considerably larger than the original, measuring 51 cm tall, 20.3 cm wide and 55.8 cm deep (20 × 8 × 22 in), resulting to a volume of 57.8 liters, making it 40% larger than the mATX-compliant Pandora. It is also a slightly heavy case, tipping our scales at 9.72 kg when completely empty.
11.2 oz can inserted as a size reference
BitFenix has designed only a single black version of the Pandora ATX at this point, with a windowed side panel. A smooth, satin black paint covers the entirety of the case with the sole exception being the glossy plastic front panel. The paint is relatively resistant to fingermarks but the glossy front panel is a true fingerprint magnet and can get dirty very easily. As there is nothing the user can physically interface with on the front panel, it should not be an issue, unless if there are young children or pets roaming about the area of the PC.
The front I/O ports and buttons can be found at the top side of the front panel. A large power on button can be seen on the far left side of the symmetrical array, followed by two USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm audio jacks at the center, two USB 2.0 ports to the right and a large reset button to the far right. There is no door or cover for the USB/audio ports.
A look at the rear of the BitFenix Pandora ATX reveals that the PSU compartment is at the bottom of the case and the presence of a stock 120 mm exhaust fan. There are also two round holes with rubber grommets for liquid cooling hoses. The metallic brace that BitFenix supplies with the bundle goes in front of the PSU, exactly as the brace that can be seen pre-installed at the top of the case’s rear side.
The BitFenix Pandora ATX sits on four simple, round plastic legs with rubber anti-slip pads installed on them. With the exception of the nylon filter covering the PSU intake, there is nothing else of interest at the bottom of the case. The front air intake filter can also be removed by pulling it downwards from the gap between the chassis and the faceplate, something easy to be done with the case on a desk or table but requires the case to be lifted up or rolled to its side if it sits on the floor.
One unique feature of the Pandora ATX is the simple LCD screen on the front panel. By default, it is showing the company logo but the users can insert any photo/logo they wish, as long as it fits certain proportions and file formats. The software used to do this is very simple, perhaps even too simple for such a product. It has no interface at all, the user is simply required to drag and drop the picture file on the program’s icon. A little more sophisticated software with a basic user interface and minor editing options would certainly be much more effective.
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SimonJM - Friday, August 12, 2016 - linkThe display would've looked better if it was OLED. The non-black background of the screen doesn't blend so well with the black case.
Jackattak - Friday, August 12, 2016 - linkA reset button? In 2016? Seriously?
HomeworldFound - Friday, August 12, 2016 - linkYes, Many cases still have one of those. If you've tried feature games from the Windows 10 Store you'll be so happy to own one.
pedjache - Saturday, August 13, 2016 - linkYou seriously need a reset.
pauliem30 - Sunday, August 14, 2016 - linkI just got this case the other day to do a review on. I'm very excited to do the build in it!
ES_Revenge - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - linkI have an original [mATX] Pandora. While I like the case, I always wondered why the thing is so tall for an mATX case that doesn't really seem like it needs to be as tall as it is. It seems as though they could have just made it slightly taller and allowed an ODD somehow (which I know no one cares about anymore but at the time it still sort of made sense). Even if they could have incorporated a slot and allowed a vertical slim/slot ODD it would have been cool.
Well now it seems they have just gone ahead and made the case even taller, but to fit a full ATX motherboard instead. I dunno I don't see the point. There's lots of competent mATX boards out there these days and have been for quite some time. Vast majority of ppl I see with full ATX boards these days have like one or two slots used and then 5-6 ones sitting there doing nothing. ATX just seems passe these days. There's even mATX cases that support SLI and mATX cases that have a "fifth slot" opening (which the original Pandora itself has), in case you have your second GPU slot at the end of the board. With all that the Pandora full ATX seems a bit pointless.
Personally I didn't get the one with the display at the time because it was ~$50 more and it didn't seem worth it because the display is not capable of much. Fast forward a few years and it seems functionality hasn't improved at all. Basically just still a static display with little use. I know they released the source code or whatever so ppl could do whatever with it, but it seems like no one has. I always used to think a cool application would be to display album art, which would automatically change with whatever track you were listening to. Surely they could have a plug-in for programs like MediaMonkey, etc. which could accomplish this. Instead it seems the use of the display is still very limited and all they bothered to do was make the case bigger. The display has even made it on to cases like the Aegis but again other than it's appearance and $30-50 premium over the "core" case without it, it's not really something of that much use. Looks cool for a day and then you forget about it.