A Closer Look - Outside
Taking a first look at the BitFenix Shadow, the case looks good in terms of design. Understated elements, an edgy looking door, and a solid top panel go well with the naming of the chassis.
The door is completely made of plastic, including the hinges holding it in place. A BitFenix logo can be found above a few air vents, and the panel can only be opened to the left, which is unfortunate as it forces users to place the case to the left of their work space.
The plastic used allows the door to flex to an extreme extend. While the plastic is soft enough to make sure nothing breaks off while doing so, I expected a bit more quality from a €65 Euros chassis.
Both sides of the chassis are completely solid and are held in place by a pair of thumbscrews, each. Nothing else to see here—move along.
BitFenix placed some metal mesh onto the interior of the front panel, with the bottom bit covering both fan placements. It is easy to remove, which makes accessing any and all cooling units there a breeze. BitFenix has also included a single 120 mm fan it placed into the front. Above the fan are the three 5.25" drive bays, each protected by a metal mesh cover. This area of the chassis reminds us a bit of the BitFenix Ghost because it also uses a lot of metal mesh behind its door.
The bottom-mounted PSU bay in the rear offers two sets of mounting holes, so you may screw the power supply in with the fan facing up- or downward. Above that are the seven motherboard expansion slots. Each slot is protected by its own, separate cover and you will—look closely—see that the fourth cover from the top is slightly different than the others. A single screw holds a plate in place, and it secures all these covers. It seems as though the chassis was constructed with as little material as possible, since having this element of the case rest inside the frame would also mean extending the whole contraption by using more metal. One can also see the second 120 mm fan meant to push hot air out the back of the case. The BitFenix Shadow then ships with two units right out of the box.
A well-rounded set of I/O can be found at the front of the chassis. It consists of a pair of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ,each, and the usual Audio plugs. Next to these is the power and reset button and LED light toggle switch. The latter allows you to set the lighting at the bottom front to red, blue, or off. Tipping the chassis over reveals two air vents on the underside. There are also four little bumps toward the front of the chassis, which may be indicative of possibly installing a 2.5" drive to the floor of the interior.