2003 Winter Case Review Part 1: MicroATX Case Madness

Antec - Minuet

The new MicroATX offering from Antec is the Minuet. Most striking about this case has to be its incredible looking front panel and black painted finish.

The Minuet MicroATX from Antec is the smallest of the MicroATX cases that we received. Antec has again broken the mold with its Minuet design. The Minuet marks Antec’s first MicroATX offering, and hopefully not their last. Unlike the other cases presented in this review, the Minuet is strictly designed to be a desktop offering, which is not a bad thing. That said, the Minuet might leave some with high expectations of this case to be left wanting.

Number Of Internal 3-½ Bays 1
Number Of External 3-½ Bays 1
Number Of External 5-¼ Bays 1
Number Of Case Fans Supported Optional rear 40mm, not included
Construction Material Steel
Power Supply Details 220 Watt Included
Special Features Piano black, high glass finish, single 80mm cooling solution built into power supply
Size 13.0"(H) x 17.0"(D) x 4.0"(W)
Sample Case Provided By http://antecinc.com
Estimated Cost $69.00 US
Cooling Potential Rating 6
Construction Quality Rating 8
Overall Case Rating 8

The Minuet from Antec represents the most interesting of the cases that we received for the MicroATX case review. Electing to squarely target the PVR/DVR market, the Minuet offers an elegant and forward thinking design. What may be the most interesting feature of this case is the great piano black finish that covers this case ; this high gloss, black finish is exceptional. Antec has opted to use a unique venting system to remove the heat from this case. Rather than relying on fans to pull heat from the case, Antec has instead created a variety of venting channels in the front, side and rear panels of the Minuet to exhaust the heat out of the Minuet. To make thing even more interesting, Antec does offer the option to add a single 40mm fan in the rear of the case, and we found both difficulty in locating this fan location as well as many questions concerning the effectiveness rating of a single rear 40mm case fan. While the case did not overheat during our testing, Antec relies on the 80mm fan in the power supply to vent the majority of the heat out of the case, which is a design that we were not really enthused about.

The Minuet exhibited no bend or twist and the quality of the construction was quite exceptional. We found no sharp edges or corners within this case. The case itself is well designed and laid out. The case includes optional standoffs that allow the case to be used in a tower configuration, but the Minuet is more at home in a desktop configuration. Antec provided the best users’ manual of the lot, and is a leader in the user manual department. This is not a surprise, as Antec is the only manufacturer in this review to offer a comprehensive, three-year warranty on their MicroATX case.

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