The SN27P2 uses an updated version of Shuttle's P series chassis, but the cube's basic dimensions are largely unchanged. The chassis itself measures 325 mm long, 220 mm wide, and 210 mm tall, so it's still slightly larger than Shuttle's G-series designs, but much smaller than even Micro ATX enclosures.
Overall, the SN27P2's appearance is sleek and stylish. The all-black aesthetic is hardly original, but at least it goes with everything. Contrasting textures and materials give the SN27P2's face a little bit of flair, too. The glossy plastic does tend to attract fingerprints, though, especially around the eject and power buttons.
As usual, Shuttle does a good job of stealthing the system's external drive bays. External 5.25" and 3.5" bays are neatly hidden behind hinged doors, and the 5.25" bay's remote eject button is flexible enough to work with a wide range of optical drives.
Note that Shuttle isn't including an integrated card reader this time around. Previous P-series designs have included memory card slots up front. Fortunately, the SN27P2's external 3.5" drive bay can easily accommodate a card reader/floppy combo drive.
Shuttle equips the SN27P2 with a pretty standard array of ports along the bottom of the system's face. These include analog audio, USB, and Firewire jacks, all of which are neatly hidden behind another hinged door.
Moving to the rear of the system, we can see that Shuttle gives the SN27P2's internals plenty of ventilation. Holes perforate much of the system's external skin, and there's even additional venting on the underside of the chassis.
Around the back, the SN27P2 has even more ventilation for its hard drive and power supply cooling fans. There's also a generous array of expansion ports, although traditionalists will note that the system lacks serial, parallel, and PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports. Abit tried a similar legacy-free port cluster years ago, and the idea never really caught on. It might this time around, though. USB keyboards and mice are plentiful these days, and even USB KVM switches aren't hard to find.
Still, I'm sure the lack of PS/2 ports will irk at least a few stubborn old codgers. While they bemoan the lack of legacy ports, the rest of us can enjoy the port cluster's more timely delights, including its eSATA jack and digital S/PDIF input and output ports. Shuttle even provides S/PDIF output in coaxial and TOS-Link flavors. An external CMOS reset button is also included so you don't have to dig around in the case if your latest overclocking attempt fails.