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Case, Power Supply, Fan Reviews
  Product:     Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower Case  
  Price:     $66 (CAN) / $51 (U.S)
  Supplied By:     Nikao/Tradex
  Author:     Shennon
  Date:     December 26th, 2003
  Rating:     star star star star star star star

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Wesley & Jeffrey from Nikao/Tradex Information Technology Incorporation for sending the Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower for review.

Nikao

Introduction:

Computer mods can be very costly and when trying to work from a limited budget. Some consumers would rather concentrate a large portion of their budget towards hardware components instead of an expensive case chassis. A budget case is a great way of getting a stylish case without breaking the bank and at the same time can be a decent starting point for a modification project. We have seen a wide range of budget cases here at MTB, each offering something different as far as design options and features. Our friends at Tradex Information Technology Incorporation have added few new cases to their ever-expanding product line. The unit that we have in house for this particular review should appeal more to the female population this time. Today in the MTB Labs, we will be evaluating the Nikao F-1, a mid-tower case that features Twin Bubble Lamps and a front chrome emblem with a centered pulsating heart.

Specifications:

The Nikao F-1 is the latest mid-tower case available from Tradex Information Technology Incorporation and features a side panel window which includes a tri-coloured LED fan. The case is available in an alternative black colour and is compatible with ATX, Micro ATX, ATX, AMD, Pentium III & IV motherboards. The Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower can hold a total of seven 3.5" devices both internally and externally. Here are some features and specifications taken directly from the Tradex website:

Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower Case - Key Specifications:
Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower: Manufactured by Nikao/Tradex Information Technology
Dimensions: 475mm (L) x 233mm (W) x 530mm (H)
Weight: 18 lbs
Housing Material: Steel metal with heavy chrome coating on the front panel
Main Board Size: ATX, Micro-ATX, P4 and AMD
Drive Bays: 11 (4 x 5.25" external, 2 x 3.5" external, 5 x 3.5" internal)
Expansion Slots: 7
Power Supply: N/A
Front USB & Audio: 2 x USB / Sound Audio Port
Fans: 4 (1 x 80mm front, 1 x 80mm side, 2 x 80mm rear)
Tool-less side panel entry
Universal ATX I/O shield
Special features: Dual Bubble Lights, Stealth Drive Bays, Chrome Lighted Heart Decal, and side window with Tri-color LED fan included
 
Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower Case
Click image for larger view
Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower Case
Click image for larger view
 

The Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower Case arrived in a red and black double-walled corrugated cardboard box. The case was sealed in protected plastic with two pieces of polystyrene located on the top and bottom. Out of the box, my initial impressions of the F-1 were positive. The Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower is a gray steel case that weighs in at 18 lbs, which is consistent with most steel cases.

Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower Case
Click image for larger view
Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower Case
Click image for larger view
 
Right on top of the front bezel is the chromed light button, which is the ON/OFF for the two bubble lamps, which runs down either side of the case. Each end of the bubble lamps are capped with chrome plastic caps that hide the blue LEDs underneath. The Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower features four stealth bay covers, as seen on most Nikao cases. The stealth bay covers give the case a uniformed look when used, but are not mandatory. To effectively use the stealth drive faces, you first must remove your existing CD/DVD-ROM faceplates. The stealth bay covers include a chrome plastic CD/DVD-ROM button which will reach the original drive's own eject button and a clear plastic bar to allow the status LEDs to shine through. The use of this design may pose a problem for those who have a slot loading drive. The Nikao F-1 Mid-Tower provides a total of four external 5.25" drive bays, which are ready for use. The floppy drive bay covers do not use the same stealth bay cover, which some users would appreciate since the 3.5" floppy drive is becoming obsolete. These standard looking floppy bay covers could be used for fan control devices or small temperature monitoring units. If a floppy drive is needed, it would have to be dyed to match the case if a uniform look is important.
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