Antec follows up on a classic with the P280

Computex — Antec’s P180 has been incredibly popular with PC enthusiasts. In the years since its initial release, new versions have offered little tweaks to the same basic design. Now, Antec is putting the finishing touches on the P180’s successor, which is appropriately named the P280. We got some hands-on time with the latest prototype earlier today, and it looks very impressive indeed.

More than anything else, the P280 seems to be all about attention to detail. Antec made the socket cut-out in the motherboard tray as large as possible to accommodate a range of motherboard designs, and it’s been careful to ensure that the hole doesn’t compromise the strength of the tray itself. Additional cut-outs line the internals to facilitate clean cable routing, and they’ll all be laced with rubber grommets in the final version. There’s also enough room behind the motherboard tray to accommodate beefy 24-pin power cables.

Quiet noise levels remain a priority, and Antec is using a new sound-dampening material on the P280’s side panels. As one might expect, the case will come equipped with several low-noise fans. The filters have have been designed for easy access, and a new tool-free retention mechanism will secure 5.25" drives. The case is tall enough to swallow ATX-XL motherboards loaded with four double-wide graphics cards, too.

Antec is still putting the finishing touches on the P280, but the final version should be ready in a few months. Surprisingly, we were told that it could cost as little as $140.

In addition to the P280, Antec had another new case out on display: the Solo II. This case is quite a bit simpler, but you still get a generous array of cut-outs in the motherboard tray and side panels laced with sound-dampening material. Despite the Solo II’s traditional layout, which puts the power supply up top, Antec has tweaked the mounting bracket to allow PSUs to be oriented right-side up or upside down. The latter config is supposed to keep the PSU cooler by drawing in air from outside of the case.

Like the Sonata series, the Solo II’s side and top panels are doused with glossy black paint. Instead of plastic up front, the bezel is crafted from anodized aluminum. The mix of flat and glossy finishes looks a little off to me, but then I’ve long felt the same way about the Sonata, and that didn’t stop me from buying several of ’em.

Comments closed
    • anotherengineer
    • 8 years ago

    I really wish Antec would set up the door to open either way. I always have my tower on my right and when I want to use the dvdrw the darned door………..I wish it opened the other way (sonata 3)

    • UltimateImperative
    • 8 years ago

    Have they dropped support for their CP series of super-tall power supplies? That PS opening doesn’t look like it could accommodate the extra height.

      • Hsew
      • 8 years ago

      The company seems to have completely forgotten about those fantastic power supplies it released a few years ago. The newer Dark Fleet (ugly as crap, but still…) and Lanboy series do not support them. Sad day, sad day for PSU enthusiasts.

    • phez
    • 8 years ago

    Still no bottom mount PSU, and that god damned support bar is still there. No thanks. Fractal Design’s mid tower will probably be my next case.

    • Jambe
    • 8 years ago

    As pretty as that mirror-finished front panel is, I think I’d prefer a matte option. Actually, if the panel can be removed from the door it’d be a pretty easy paint job. I think it’d look pretty cool with a one of Krylon’s textured paints on it; Metallic Copper or Black Granite would be pretty swanky.

    I dunno, though: $170 on a case? That’s pushing it.

    • potatochobit
    • 8 years ago

    I own a P182
    this is not the direction I wanted the case to go in

    what I wanted
    rear motherboard access
    shorter mid tower, not so tall and heavy

    what I dont like about this
    ports on the front are very ugly
    not sure how quiet this case is – doesnt look quiet with all the holes and spaces
    looks like it may get dusty easier
    I hope the new fans are quiet at speeds greater than low
    I prefer the compartment separations instead of one big open area

    • holophrastic
    • 8 years ago

    Look, another butt-ugly case…yay.

    • Kaleid
    • 8 years ago

    Looks less sturdy and not as great for building a silent PC. It also looks like a clone of Fractal Design’s R3:
    [url<]http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=48[/url<]

      • Jambe
      • 8 years ago

      I support Fractal Design cases as much as anyone here (PLEASE REVIEW THEM TR) but no; just no.

      It looks pretty damn slick to my eyes, and I can’t comment on the sturdiness, but similar designs from other companies have been solid enough and then some. I have no idea how you reached your conclusion about it not looking good for building a “silent” PC; this case and its predecessor are specifically designed to be quieter than most…

      It looks absolutely wonderful minus the glossy mirror on the front. Although I have to say, as far as glossiness on PC cases goes that’s almost excusable, because it does look pretty classy. I just worry about it becoming an ugly mess of smudge and grease.

        • Kaleid
        • 8 years ago

        I have built a few Fractal Design R2’s and they are not as great in quality as the p182. And why is not as good for silent PC, well, first of all, the backside is mostly open. And if you look at the top, it seems to just be one layer of metal, unlike the p182 which has three layers, making the case much more sturdy and less prone to vibrate unnecessarily. Even the motherboard tray looks weaker on the p280.

        Antec is just becoming worse.

    • Oldtech
    • 8 years ago

    The p280 looks like a dolled up One Hundred case.
    The Solo II has the same problem as a lot of Antec cases. You need to remove the motherboard to change the power supply.

      • crabjokeman
      • 8 years ago

      The Solo II looks a lot like my current Antec case (I forget what it’s called, maybe a Solo or P150) and I don’t need to remove the mobo to change PSU.

        • FuturePastNow
        • 8 years ago

        You would if you used anything taller than the stock cooler.

          • crabjokeman
          • 8 years ago

          Still, you could just remove the cooler. I guess I was still using the stock cooler when I did my PSU swap (nowadays, I use my giant Thermalright U120).

            • Oldtech
            • 8 years ago

            If that cross bar had screws in it rather than rivits, it would be absolutely wonderful!

        • jabro
        • 8 years ago

        I have an Antec P-150, and I definitely need to remove the MB to change out the power supply. Also, depending on your CPU heat sink and retention mechanism, just removing the heat sink can be a real pain, too.

        I wish Antec would take a note from Lian-Li, which has designed manay of it’s cases with a removable power supply mounting plate, which lets you pull the power supply out of the back of the case.

        Knowing what I know now, I think that the P-280 looks pretty tempting, and $140 does not sound too unreasonable.

      • floodo1
      • 8 years ago

      how aobut the same problem as nearly all cases, which is that intake air flows over hot hard drives and is thus preheated.
      i saw HUGE temperature drops in every case in which i’ve mounted the hard drives in 5.25 bays so the intake doesn’t get preheated

      • Mentawl
      • 8 years ago

      I think I’ve once performed a PSU swap without also doing a motherboard swap, though. It’s not something the average user (even most enthusiasts) will ever really do, is it?

    • FormCode
    • 8 years ago

    I have a Mini P180 and I must say its the best mATX case i have ever worked with and that P280 just looks great – besides the fact that its HUGE !

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 8 years ago

      My P182 and mini-P180 are the best cases that I’ve experienced. With the mini-P180 getting hard to find, I expect that Antec will introduce a replacement for it soon.

    • StuG
    • 8 years ago

    DOOOO WWAAANNNTT

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 8 years ago

      Do you want to come back to my place? Bouncy bouncy!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        I will not buy this record. It is scratched.

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