Despite going through a tough time because if its parent company, Moneual, Zalman is still pushing hard to stay afloat on the enthusiast PC components market. It's no secret that the company was working on a new PC enclosure, the Z11 NEO, but what we did not know is when it would be available or what it would cost – until now.
The interior of the case is fairly standard fare, offering room for ATX motherboards and graphics cards up to 270 mm long (or 400 mm when removing the hard drive cages). It has seven expansion slots, so you'll be able to manage up to 3-way SLI or CrossFireX configurations with dual-slot graphics cards. Additionally, there is room for one 5.25" optical drive bay (which we like, because few people use more than one, if at all these days), six 3.5" drives, and two 2.5" mounts. Two additional 5.25" bays are accessible from the inside only, which you could use for a reservoir or accessory space if you needed it.
Cooling is handled by a total of up to eight fans. The front of the case can hold up to two 120 mm fans (with one LED-lit fan included), and there's a rear 120 mm fan. Up top you can fit up to two 140 mm fans (with one 120 mm LED-lit fan included), and the bottom will also house a 120 mm or 140 mm fan.
Two included 80 mm fans take care of additional front air intake from the side-mounted air scoops. Radiator mounting options aren't too extensive, with Zalman only offering support for a dual-radiator CPU water cooling in the top of the case. That's plenty for most users, though, and this case isn't built to be a watercooler's dream chassis. The top of the case can be sealed off for more silent operation and dust protection, and naturally, fan filters are in place in the most important intake locations.
The front I/O resides at the top of the case and consists of the standard set of HD audio jacks, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and power buttons. Between the two sides of the I/O you'll find a small tray for storing accessories.
What sets this case apart is its rather unique appearance. The front has a brushed aluminum cover with a sliding optical tray cover, and the entire design drips of minimalism but with a hint of "look at me" here and there.
As far as pricing goes, Zalman informed us that the case would cost between $80 and $90 when it launches sometime mid-Q2. Considering what this case features, that's not a bad price at all.