Computex — TR readers seemed pretty enthusiastic when BitFenix announced its Prodigy enclosure a couple of weeks ago, so we stopped by the company's Computex booth to check out the case in person. BitFenix said the response to the Prodigy has been incredible and the first shipment is already on a boat headed for North America. The Mini-ITX chassis should be available in early July.
Despite being designed for the diminutive Mini-ITX motherboard form factor, the Prodigy isn't all that small. It measures 9.8" x 15.9" x 14.1", which is more along the lines of what one might expect from a Micro ATX mini tower. But the Prodigy looks small, in part because it's, well, cute.
We poked around the case and picked up a few new details. Mounting holes for 2.5" drives appear on the internal panels, allowing SSDs to be installed when the main drive sleds are full or removed. The white version lacks a front grill because the ventilation holes make the panel look too gray, BitFenix says. The black model is recommended for high-end builds, although a fully vented white variant may be offered in the future. Those handles are really robust, too:
After that picture was taken, the handle bounced back to its original shape. I didn't see any signs of cracking or damage, and BitFenix even dropped the case onto the show floor to showcase the durability of the bottom rails. Impressive.
The Prodigy's shape looks good in all kinds of colors. BitFenix had a few prototype shades on display. The colors didn't match exactly, and there are no plans to put any of those hues into production. However, BitFenix is willing to do different colors as long as customers order sufficient volumes. I can't decide if I'd rather have lime green or hot pink.
One of the Prodigy cases on display sported BitFenix's Recon fan controller. This 5.25" drive bay insert has a touchscreen interface and a USB header that plugs into the motherboard. The latter enables remote temperature monitoring and fan speed control via software, which includes a lightweight web server allowing the Recon to be accessed from smartphones, tablets, and any other device connected to the Internet. Five fan channels are supported, each with 10W of power and its own temperature probe. Not bad for a $30 accessory.