Excerpt: Earlier this year, BitFenix introduced the Shinobi XL case. A full-tower version of last year’s Shinobi case, the Shinobi XL has a number of features making it a great choice for a gaming system. The most important feature we found was the ability of this case to fit a stunning number of fans. With a sleek appearance, the BitFenix Shinobi XL looks like a great case. Let’s see if it can deliver an experience worthy of its $160 price tag.
Pros: Great performance, Extraordinary versatility with airflow, High quality components and sturdy construction, USB 3.0 on front panel, Can fit a large number of fans, Fan filters included, Side panels swing closed
Cons: Must remove top 230mm fan to install second fan, SuperCharge port does not work with some devices, Front panel has a strange texture
Conclusion: When i hear the name Shinobi it automatically takes me back to a much simpler time when i used to sit in front of the TV playing the loved arcade game on my Sega Megadrive (Genesis). I was the master at throwing death stars i’ll have you know. Shinobi is also a term referred to a ninja, hence the game and many films named after it.
Conclusion: For design the Shinobi continues to impress with a spacious motherboard cavity with wiring cut-outs and tool free installation for a number of components. Support for 2.5" drives is a must in 2011 and it was good to see BitFenix provide this. A decent number of fan locations and water-cooling compatibility allows us to tailor the system to our needs and simple touches such as rubber feet for the PSU area show good attention to detail.
Conclusion: In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the BitFenix Shinobi Window PC case a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that it is better or worse than a similar PC case that has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score.
Pros: Excellent cable routing, Tool free retention clips are effective, Great overall build quatlity, Very quiet operation, Lovely smoked side window, Filtered air intakes, 2.5" drive adapter / External 3.5" adapter in one, Painted interior, Bottom mounted PSU, Good value
Cons: Rubber feet not installed, Front and top panels are pain to remove, No USB 3.0 ports, Not much room above and below motherboard
Conclusion: The BitFenix Shinobi Window offers quite a bit of room to work with, so it really does not matter if you installed the motherboard first or your PSU first. Personally, I like to install the PSU first, so I can easily route all the necessary cables first to the general areas. After mounting the motherboard, you could then easily pull the cables through and plug them in accordingly.
Summary: The Bitfenix Shinobi surprised me. I just wasn’t sure what to expect after reading some reviews of the Colossus online. Sure the Colossus had been a unique design, but it really wasn’t my cup of tea. The clean and subtle styling impressed me more than I expected. The quality was also above what I had anticipated, which was in line with other reports on the Bitfenix brand.
This case is aimed at the budget market with a price point of around $70 USD.
Conclusion: Overall the BitFenix Shinobi Window is a great budget case. Obviously it is not perfect, although in most ways, the Shinobi Window is more than adequate for what most people need. There is plenty of cable storage room available as well as a variety of additional features and accessories that BitFenix included.
Conclusion: Despite having couple flaws Shinobi Window edition is very high quality case. They could have possibly made it a bit more silent with some resonance absorbing foams etc. However it is currently one of the best midsized cases I’ve seen. Having stock installed very silent fans and good cable management system helps you to build a system of your liking.