A Closer Look - Outside
BitFenix has done an excellent job in growing the original Shinobi into this XL variant. It still features the same straight lines, cool logo and metal mesh aspects, so it is a perfect fit. Last but certainly not least, the SofTouch surface is also part of the top and front panel.
As with the Shinobi, the front is lined with two metal mesh strips, which - theoretically - could be changed to add some color to the chassis. BitFenix has gone that route, offering a core version of the Shinobi and a set of colors to choose from, but it remains to be seen if they will do the same with the XL variant. In the rear there is nothing out of the ordinary. As with the Colossus, the PSU bay is on the bottom and there are nine expansion slots allowing for XL-ATX boards to be installed.
Both sides are completely solid. There are no openings, no air vents and no possibility to install any fans on either side, so move along - nothing to see here.
Taking a closer look at the front, the bottom half is solid with a silver BitFenix logo. As this one is identical to the one used in the normal Shinobi, you could go ahead and buy one of the colored logos to personalize your chassis. Above that are the five 5.25" slots, up from three in the normal Shinobi.
In the rear, it becomes clear, that the Shinobi XL has similar genes as the Colossus, with the PSU on the bottom of the chassis, above which are the nine expansion slots. These are protected by individual covers made by metal mesh. In the very top a 120 mm fan comes pre-installed to pull air out the back of the chassis. You may also place a 140 mm unit here and it would have been great to see such variant instead of the slightly smaller one. At this point, I should mention, that all fans within the Shinobi XL are BitFenix Sprectre units and thus are identical to those you can buy in retail.
Just like in the BitFenix Raider, there are four USB 3.0 ports and the usual pair of audio connectors, but BitFenix also includes a yellow so-called SuperCharge USB plug, which uses a dedicated power source straight from the PSU. This allows you to charge your gadgets at the same speed as if there were connected directly to a wall socket. The rest of the top consists of a large metal mesh, below which you will find a single 230 mm Spectre unit, intended to push air out of the top of the chassis. Due to the size of the case, you may install a 360 mm radiator under the ceiling here without any problems.