We always enjoy taking delivery of a new case from BitFenix, as we've come to expect something a little unusual from the case manufacturer; the Colossus came with intriguing external lighting and the Survivor had a unique curved design. As such, we were a little crest fallen when we discovered discover that, aside from the cool name, the Shinobi is a relatively plain midi tower case.
A quick glance at the Shinobi’s price reveals one of the main reasons why BitFenix has reeled in the creativity, though - at only £50 the case resides firmly in the budget end of the market. With this in mind it’s easier to understand the more basic styling on show here, as cases at this end of the market, such as the Antec One Hundred, do tend to be boxier in design.
Thankfully, the Shinobi does have some features that help distinguish itself from the crowd, the most noticeable of which is the SofTouch finish that BitFenix has applied to its front and roof panel. We’ve liked this on the on the rest of the BitFenix range, as it does a good job of hiding finger and scuff marks while having a pleasant, premium feel.
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The two deep grooves cut down the length of the case also add a touch of interest to an otherwise plain exterior. They’re functional too, as they're lined with mesh to allow air to be drawn into the case.
Meanwhile, the side panels are as basic as they come; both are just blank sheets of painted steel. If you want to see your hardware whirring away inside, then an extra £7 will get you a different SKU of the Shinobi with a side window, as well as tool-less drive bays and an extra fan.
The vanilla Shinobi is as basic inside as it is out, though; the drive bays come without any adornment and there are no fancy movable parts or rubber grommets. What you do get, however, is a painted black interior and ample cable routeing holes, which should enable you to build a neat PC. There's also a sensible split of 3.5in to 5.25in drive bays, with eight of the former and only three of the latter.
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Unfortunately, the Shinobi only ships with a single 120mm rear exhaust fan as standard. Those looking to upgrade the case's cooling will find an additional five mounts (two 120mm in the front, one 120mm in floor and two 140/120mm in roof) but if you wanted to fill all these you would end up spending as much on the fans as you did on the case in the first place.
The final feature that BitFenix boasts about is the fact that all the intake fan mounts come with dust filters to help keep your PC clean. This is true, in the broadest sense of the term, but the actual filters are just flimsy, paper-thin sheets of meshed plastic that tuck under metal tabs built into the frame of the case. They do work, but they're extremely fiddly to remove and refit; the filter covering the PSU intake is particularly annoying, as you can’t remove or refit it with the PC stood on its base, so you’ll have to tip over your PC if you want to clean the filter.
Dimensions (mm) 205 x 460 x 490mm (W x D x H)
Material Steel and plastic
Available colours Black
Front panel Power, reset, 4x USB 2, stereo, microphone