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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [03.12.04]
Manufactured by: NZXT


Saved the Best For Last

Probaby the most unique feature of NZXT's Guardian case is it's "Guardian Eye" LED. The LED motion is quite unique and is actually patent pending so you can be sure that only those with an NZXT case will have one.

KITT anyone?

The Eye goes start into motion when the case is powered up and continues through it's motions for approxiamately 10 minutes after which time it will go into a "rest" time for around 40 minutes after which the process repeats itself. This is a great idea as we know that no matter how cool they look those blinking lights can get annoying after awhile. In the included manual NZXT hints that future revisions might include the ability to change both the motion and the color of the LED itself. Personally I think a good idea for future revisions, aside from an on/off switch, would be the ability to set the startup and rest timings.

Once again we can't really argue about the looks of this case - you're either going to love it or hate it, so we'll just have to leave that up to you. Telling you what looks good isn't our job, it's instead to tell you what is good and bad about the case in case you do happen to find it to be visually appealing.

After installing a couple different systems into this case my reactions are mostly good. Aside from the pain in the ass front intake fan and the lack of a removable motherboard tray there really isn't much to complain about with this case. Mind you, the motherboard tray issue may hold more weight with you than it does me.

I personally appreciate the thought that went into the drive bay retention mechanism and the directed rear fan cage. Sure there are problems with the case, but consider that this is NZXT's first attempt at the market, and at a price point of $99 (400W PSU included!) this case is going to be tough to pass up. I think we're going to see big things from these guys in the future and I know I personally look forward to what they might come out with next.

Overall it really comes down to whether you like the looks of the Guardian series. If you do, I can't find any good reason for you not to pick it up, especially at a price that is well below many similar style competitors.

  • Unique front bezel design
  • Integrated Drive Rail retension mechanism
  • Directed rear airflow
  • Patented Front EYE LED
  • It's More Than Meets The Eye!

  • No removable motherboard tray
  • Tool required
  • Front intake fan a pain and pretty much useless

Final Score: 91%