A Closer Look - Outside
The case features the same sofTouch surface we have seen on the Colossus and Survior cases. This special coating is unique, scratch resistant and you won't leave any fingerprints. Overall, BitFenix has gone with a straight and understated design on the Shinobi, which is a departure from their previous cases that feature unique looks and shapes. But considering the affordable price point and whom this case is aimed at, the choice is a good one.
Metal mesh parts have been placed on both sides of the drive bay covers, giving the case design a certain depth and adding to the overall quality. Don't expect wonders at this price point, but everything fits together extremely well and none of the parts feel cheap. Turning the case around, we can see that the interior is all black as well and the PSU is located on the bottom of the chassis.
Both sides are black too, but the well shaped window does give you a good look at all the internal components. It is good to see that they have not gone with the standard square shape. BitFenix also allows you to install an additional fan on the side window, which will not be possible on the windowless version. The other side of the Shinobi is completely solid as there are no vents or openings here.
Taking a closer look at the front of the chassis, there is the very prominent BitFenix logo. While it is equipped with a backlight on the Colossus and Survivor, BitFenix has chosen to keep this one simple and has used chrome colored plastic instead. Lighting would have been a really cool touch, but that would have added to the overall cost in the end. The three drive bays are designed extremely well, with clean, straight lines and no wiggle room. BitFenix has done a great job on this part as there are plenty of other manufacturers who end up with cases that have fairly large space between the bays. Even though there is no external 3.5 inch bay right out of the box, BitFenix will include everything you need to install such a device in one of the 5.25 inch bays. You may pull off the entire front with a firm tug. There are no cables attached to it, so you will not have to worry about ripping anything off in the process. As you can see, there is a simple but effective dust filter in the front. It is metal mesh, so you can easily wash it if needed.
Turning the Shinobi around, starting at the bottom, there is a standard PSU bay. As there are two sets of screw holes, you may mount it with the fan facing upward and drawing air from the interior of the chassis, or downward with the cooling unit towards the floor. The feet of the case will ship inside the box of accessories, so you can apply them yourself. Above that are seven expansion bays. All covers consist of separate pieces so you can reuse them if your system configuration changes. There are also two openings to route water cooling tubes out the back of the case if you choose to use an external radiator for example. In the very top you will find the 120 mm exaust fan of the "Spectre" series. These fans are also sold seperately, so you may fill the case with BitFenix branded units.
BitFenix has placed the I/O on the top of the chassis. Due to the price tag, you will not find any USB 3.0 connectivity. Instead there are four USB 2.0 plugs. I would have liked to see an eSATA port too and maybe in turn sacrificed two USB ports, but you will still have the pair of audio jacks along with a power and reset button. The latter is rather small, which may make it a bit tough to press if the situation arises. In the back is a metal mesh cover, below which you may install two more 120 or 140 mm cooling units. The Shinobi should also be able to hold a radiator in this location, but things may be a bit tight due to the compact height of the case.