In January of 2006, Darren here at the club had
the pleasure of reviewing the original NZXT
Lexa, the latest entry in NZXT's Classic series. Darren liked
it enough to give it a 9.5, so NZXT is obviously doing something right.
Fast forward to August of 2007, and sitting in front of me is the update
to the Lexa; the Lexa Blackline. With the same shape as the
original Lexa, but a sleek new color scheme, the Blackline is sure
to turn some heads. So, let us revisit the Lexa design, and see
what changes NZXT has made.
What NZXT claims:
This is what NZXT has to say about their new case, straight from their
"Introducing the newly modified NZXT Lexa Blackline, designed with a
menacing Black and Red theme, the Blackline comes equipped with two RED
led 120mm fans running at 23dba and a top 80mm fan. The front is touched
with an piano black finish and the chassis is reinforced by an 1.0mm
steel chassis. The Blackline is also pre-drilled for external
water-cooling and sports an complete screw-less installation for 5.25",
3.5" and PCI-E. "
- nVIDIA 8800GTX Compatible
- Screw-less installation
- Pre-Drilled holes for Water Cooling
- 1.0mm Thick Steel chassis
- Stealthed clear side panel
- Three temperature display meter
- Glossy Piano Black Finish
- Low noise 1100 RPM@23dba Fans
- Removable Dust Filters for Dust Prevention
- Cable Organization via Rear Cage
- Ext. Ports: 2 x USB 2.0, Mic, IEEE 1394/FIREWIRE
- Headphone Jack
Model: LEXA Blackline SERIES
Case Type: MID TOWER Steel
Front Panel Material: PLASTIC
Dimensions (W x H x D): 220 X 522 X 569 mm
FRONT, 1 X 120 mm (optional)
REAR, 1 X 120 mm Red LED Fan (included)
SIDE PANEL, 1 X 120mm Red LED (included)
TOP, 1 X 80mm Fan (included)
11 DRIVE BAYS
4 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
2 EXTERNAL 3.5 " DRIVE BAYS
5 INTERNAL 3.5" DRIVE BAYS
Screw-less Rail Design
Expansion Slots: 7
Power Supply: 500W PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 (Optional)
Weight: 11.5KGs (W/O PSU)
Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Baby AT
Out of Box Experience:
Now that we have the gory details out of the way, time to unpack the
case and give it a thorough inspection. First up, let's check out
the exterior features, then we will move on to the interior.
The first thing we notice is that everything is stealthed inside a sleek
looking facade. Everything is smooth and mysterious. The
power button resides on the top right corner, and next to it is a
temperature monitor that is hidden behind tinted glass. The
vertical line on the face is the Power LED, while the little dot
underneath is the HDD activity LED.
Opening the door reveals to us the optical and floppy
drive bays, as well as the reset switch. All the bays have the
same shiny black plastic. The door is held closed by two small
circular magnets, which can be seen at the top and bottom left of the
Turning the case ninety degrees, we get a good look
at what makes the Lexa series unique. The rear of the case uses a
bracket that gives the case a symmetrical shape. Also take note of
the 80mm fan at the top, and the 120mm fan in the door. The latch
is emblazoned with an "NZXT" label, and also utilizes a small lock.
Here is a close-up of the latch. As you can see
both the piano black finish and the metal trim are very reflective, and
instead of the circular style lock, the Lexa uses a standard key lock.
Another ninety degree turn, and we are at the back
of the case. The first big change over the original Lexa is
evident here, and that is the water cooling access ports.
Everything else is pretty much identical.
Finally, we have the right side of the case.
Like many other cases, not much to see here, except for the I/O access
area at the bottom near the front. From a modder's standpoint,
this is a blank canvas.
A closer look at the I/O access area reveals that the
Blackline supports Firewire, headphone, microphone and two USB ports, in
a much more convenient location than many cases, in my opinion.