NZXT Lexa Blackline Case
Author: Frank Stroupe
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 08-08-2007
Provided by: NZXT

The stealth door on the Blackline opens from left to right as you are facing it, like most NZXT cases, and opposite from most other cases. There are four 5 1/4” bays, and two 3 1/2” external bays.

Under the bezel, which is held in place by the typical “pinch” locking mechanism, is access to the front 120mm fan. The fan has a filter, which comes in very handy if your house is as dusty as mine. I have never figured out where so much dust comes from, but I'm sure that our five house dogs don't help much. My present case has a front filter, and I have to clean it every couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, the Blackline's filter is held in place by screws, the same screws that hold the fan in place. This isn't a huge deal for me, since I use an air compressor to clean my computer, and can just remove the bezel while I am doing my regular cleaning…but a real pain for someone that doesn't. I remove and wash the screen occasionally because my wife smokes… so I will experience that pain too.

As I mentioned, the Lexa Blackline's side panels open like doors instead of the conventional sliding forward locking. Replacing the doors was a slight pain, but not bad, and will get easier with experience.

Unlike the other Lexa models, the Blackline is made of steel instead of aluminum. I'll discuss that a little more at the end of the review. The interior edges are all well finished with no sharp edges.

There is room for five internal 3 1/2” drives. Both sets of drive bays are tool less, installation is accomplished by the typical plastic devices that lock into the screw holes on the sides of drives. I have had a few cases with these, and they have always worked well for me. I lost the extra ones for my Silverstone case, but the ones that came with my NZXT Trinity worked fine in it.

The Lexa Blackline has a rear 120mm fan, which I will call point four of its extreme cooling points. Yes, rear 120mm fans are pretty popular, but there are many cases that still use 80mm rear fans. The airflow restriction by the large honeycomb mesh will be negligible.

The left side is pretty typical. The motherboard tray is not removable.

The blowhole has an 80mm fan.

And here is the final point of extreme cooling. The Blackline is the first case I have ever seen with a bottom vent, which is something that I have always thought would be a good idea. The vent has a mesh screen, another great idea, which is removed by squeezing the plastic jobbies that hold it in place.

Finally the hardware, which includes standoffs, various screws, and the locking mechanisms for the drives. A manual is included.

Not included with the Blackline is the cool nylon web carrying strap that was included with the other Lexa models. A little more on that in the “conclusions” section of this review.

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