Antec Mini-P180 Exterior Look
Six diagonal openings, four at the top and two at the bottom, stylize the Mini P180's front door and surround the two USB, eSATA, and front audio jacks. A small notch on the right provides easy access to the large, easily pushed power button and the much less accessible reset button. This button is recessed a bit too far into the plastic frame and requires either the back of a pencil or some determined finger pushing to get an audible "click" when resetting the system. We've seen protective measures used before on other cases to prevent accidental shutdown or restarting, but we believe that Antec took this point just a bit too far especially since the power and reset switches cannot be accessed once the door is closed.
The door hinge actually separates from the frame and rotates outward, allowing the door a full 270 degree range of motion, folding back completely against the side panel. The side panels do not have a grip or handle like the Nine Hundred, but slide off easily, and more importantly, grip well when reseating them. A 5 1/4" bay is found at the top of the unit, with two more bays at the very bottom, and two "zones" in between. These zones have slots that allow air intake, especially if fans are mounted behind them, and each comes with a removable and washable air filter fitted in behind the front bezel. Rounded edges on the door keep arms and hands safe from skin-shearing metal, and the horizontal bar separating the two chambers has foam padding to prevent the side door from making metal-to-metal contact within. The doors themselves are constructed of three layers - metal, plastic, then metal again in order to prevent unwanted vibrational noise.
Along the rear of the chassis, a 120mm fan is mounted, with four expansion slot openings and, per typical Antec fashion, power supply units get mounted at the bottom. The PSU can be mounted in either orientation, although obviously those with fans on one side should face upwards for optimal cooling effect. A vent is placed nearby with a filter to keep out dust and other particles. The top panel has diagonal vents placed over a honeycomb mesh protecting the 200mm fan underneath - the very same "Big Boy" fan we first encountered with the Nine Hundred last year. Typically seen on SFF PCs, the screw downs for the expansion slots are found on the outside of the chassis, requiring an extra step during installation.