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Nathan Edwards Jun 24, 2008

NZXT Lexa Blackline

At A Glance

Beauty

Relatively screwless design.

Boo-ty

Cramped interior makes installing water-cooling difficult; front-panel lighting is a disaster.

Oh, NZXT, you had some truly great ideas on the ol’ chassis drawing board. Alas, we can’t give a 10 Kick Ass award for dreams. The Blackline case is a personal ad in case form—it certainly looks wonderful on NZXT’s website, but seeing it in person is an entirely different experience.

The Lexa Blackline looks like a standard black case with some oversized hunks of plastic shoved onto it. They make for a good first impression, but you’ll quickly discover just how awkward these accoutrements are when you start filling the case with parts. Rather than using the locking mechanism to pop off the side panel, you have to first unscrew the entire plastic panel attached to the back end of the case.

NdZXT succeeds in giving the Lexa Blackline some color with red LED fans, but this motif is utterly destroyed on the case’s front panel. The slit in the front of the case is supposed to glow red; it hardly does. And the LCD panel above that area glows with such a faint red backlight, we could hardly make out the temperature numbers on the display.

These details are the sole ways NZXT has attempted to differentiate this case from your standard box, and even they suffer from functionality-breaking flaws. If using this case were like going on a bad blind date, we’d already be crawling out the window in the restroom.

THE VERDICT

NZXT Lexa Blackline

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