A Closer Look - Outside
Out of the box, the sliver edition of the Fractal Era ITX looks absolutely stunning with the wooden top panel. I am sure the other color options look just as spiffy, and it is refreshing to see the company pushing their core design language in such a fashion.
Looking at the front, it comes with gentle curves on the edges while also being a bit concave. There is also a subtle diagonal fold that goes from the top left to the bottom right of the front panel. Fractal has included two USB 3.0 and a fully fledged USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C plug in the front, along with a 3.5 mm CTIA plug that is a combination of the audio and mic ports. A small white LED in the power button will light up to let you know your system is up and running.
In the rear, it becomes obvious very quickly that Fractal could have made the Era ITX even smaller, but chose to leave a bit of extra room for fans or liquid cooling to be installed in the ceiling. There are two expansion slots with reusable black covers. To install a GPU here, you first have to remove a small silver plate as well. As the PSU is placed inside the chassis, the actual cable is routed to the back of the enclosure, which a lot of small ITX cases incorporate into their design. Above that, you will find a single 80 mm fan set to push air out of the chassis. It can be adjusted in height to allow you to better align it with your CPU socket. While it is great to have a fan like this out of the box, odds are you will have to remove it if you happen to go with a larger top-blow CPU air cooler instead of a compact tower variant.
Both sides of the chassis are essentially the same and come with diagonal air vents, which is also important for some airflow inside the compact enclosure. Once again, Fractal has opted to design these openings to fit the overall look and feel of the case instead of simply punching a square full of holes somewhere—cool!
In the top, the wooden (or vented) cover is held in place by magnets, so you may easily remove it to reveal a dust filter. You may also remove that without any tools for easy cleaning and access to the top frame for active cooling elements.