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M350 Universal Mini-ITX PC enclosure PicoPSU compatible;
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- Smallest, Universal mini-ITX Enclosure
- Fits Intel stock CPU heatsink; Smart front power button
- Vesa, DIN-Rail, Wall Mount options
- Hidden area for USB / WIFI / Storage
- Size 192 x 210 x 62mm
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Top Customer Reviews
When this unit arrived, I was pleased it was in black. Since the options are black or silver, the listings aren't clear which is which, and maybe they are randomly delivered. My choice was a listing that showed up as "You Might Also Be Interested In" where the summary text said "This one is black". I can't find that again, but maybe you can. The unit arrives in typical OEM packaging, no fancy retail labeling, no extra options you might toss in the parts bin. It is the case in two strong foam surrounds like you'd see a home theater component protected in shipment. The case was wrapped in a heavy plastic protective sleeve inside the foam braces. Included in the box was my packing slip and a zip bag with four black and four shiny screws (for the motherboard and for the case). There is no manual or any documentation in the box. That's online.
I typed "M350 case" into a search engine and the first hit took me to a page that had the manual. Opening the case and putting things together is simple. Starting with the tricky-the-first-time top removal, you insert the motherboard. This takes some care, since it's a tight fit. After all, that's why you want this case. The conenction of the power on/off switch was a struggle for my fat fingers, with the memory already installed, but otherwise things were almost trivial. Snapping open the cover was also worth reading about. That cover is plastic, and I would have liked it better if it was metal, but it's okay. Under the cover is two USB ports, so I added a thumb drive just for fun.
The hardest steps in the build are to push out the punches in the rear apron (true in every build) and adding the four tiny black case screws to the sides. I think those screws are just to keep you from wanting to open the case too often, but they may add slightly to the rigid build. At this point, you can probably stand on the case, avoiding the front panel, and not damage a thing. It is very solid.
The mounting for a HDD or SSD is pretty tight with the motherbaord I used. The Zotac has an oversized set of fins over the ION video chip and the Atom CPU. You can move the included fan/HDD bracket from one side to the other and it fits securely, but even a 2.5" drive will be tight in this build. One issue is that the cables you receive with a motherboard seem to be much too long for this kind of case and you end up weaving them all over the place while trying not to block the airflow channels you really want to maintain. I'd highly recommend some short cables so you can avoid that mess. Makes things look cleaner, too. You can add a 40mmx40mmx10mm fan to the front panel if you like, and two to the HDD bracket if you don't use an HDD. But I'd suggest you have the case in hand before you make that decision. How much space you have around that bracket will vary by motherboard profile.
I ran a Zotac IONITX-A-U in this case overclocked to 2.01 GHz for several hours. The case is vented on top, bottom and both sides and never got more than a little warm on top. Because I intend to use this in an enclosed cabinet, I backed the speed down to regular clocking just to keep the heat down without any fan. I use a SATA-to-CF adapter and Compact Flash as the boot drive for Ubuntu, the flash drive for data storage and a network mount for things that I really care about. The box just rocks.
So, while the price initially seems high for a case, this case seems to be much sturdier that the larger cases. The layout and options are really well thought-out, and there doesn't seem to be much competition in this space. I so highly recommend this that it is now my standard case for future builds. No fan, no dvd, no hdd, no noise. No problem.
Opening the case was a bit tricky at first. The top of the case is secured by a single M3 sized, Phillips-head screw in the back. To open the case, you slide back the top part about an inch and pull upwards. I've found that it's easiest to open the case if I slide the top panel back slowly while pulling up from the front. For those who are considering replacing the rear case screw with a thumb screw, look for Lian Li case thumb screws. Most standard thumb screws are 6/32" so they won't fit in the M350, but Lian Li uses the slightly smaller M3 size for their cases. I ordered a few online and they work perfectly.
If you've ever built a computer before, you'll find the interior of the M350 to be very simple and straight-forward. There are three connectors for the power switch, power LED, and front USB ports. The M350 comes with a single 2.5" hard drive bracket that attaches across the top of the case. The bracket also doubles as a mount for two 40mm fans if you're not using a hard drive. You can buy a second bracket to mount across the other half of the case if your CPU cooler is short enough.
The plastic front panel is removable (after you take off the top metal panel) to reveal two horizontally pointed USB ports. It's a perfect spot to hide Wifi or wireless keyboard/mouse adapters. There's also a spot to mount another 40mm fan.
This seems obvious, but there is NO support for a slim optical drive nor is there a PCI/PCIe expansion slot. I've read forum posts where people actually ask about this. It's possible to install an operating system off a thumb drive (look to Google for instructions), or you can temporarily hook up a CD/DVD drive.
The system that I built in the M350 was an older Zotac IONITX-A-U Atom 330 with 2GB of RAM and an 80GB 2.5" hard drive. The SATA connectors for this particular motherboard sit directly below the hard drive bracket so a 6" SATA cable was the perfect length. You should also consider getting SATA cables with L-shaped connectors if you're very particular about cabling, but a standard straight connector works fine too.
+ About as small as an ITX case could possibly be.
+ Very good design that allows for plenty of airflow.
+ Incredibly solid build quality.
+ Versatile drive and 40mm fan bracket that will work for different motherboard layouts.
- The plastic front panel feels kind of cheap in comparison to the rest of the case.
- The power LEDs are amazingly bright. I'm going to dim them with a Sharpie.
- There's no easily accessible front USB port.
- Would have been nice to have mounting options for a thin 60mm or even 80mm fan.
* The rear case screw that secures the top panel is M3 sized. If you want to replace it with a thumbscrew, look for ones made for Lian Li cases, which conveniently come in black or silver to match the M350 color options.
* If you're buying 40mm fans for this case, you can fit a 40x40x20mm fan behind the front-bezel, but you'll probably want the slimmer 40x40x10mm fans for the internal brackets.
* If you want a small case that supports a slim optical drive and a low-profile PCI/PCIe card, take a look at the Antec ISK-300 series.