Antec set out to right the ship, so to speak, and fix a couple of the main issues a lot of users had with the last couple cases. I think they hit the mark. The Performance One P280 has all the looks that the Performance One series is known for, and with the updates to the design makes for one nice case.
With Antec moving away from the separated thermo chamber design it may make some users that liked the design mad, but I think it will be a small number. The new layout works well. There is space for long video cards, six 3.5” and two 2.5” drives, or eight 2.5” drives. With the dual 120mm fans at the top there is a place to mount water cooling units like the Corsair H100 without mods or running into the clearance issues with the rear exhaust. Same for mounting Antec’s own Kuhler 920 to the rear exhaust and not having clearance issues with the top exhaust fans.
The drive trays are not tool-less, but not a deal breaker for me. When I build a system for personal use I’m not constantly changing parts out like I would for a test system. So a couple of minutes extra to install a couple of screws is not a big deal. Same goes for expansion cards. Now Antec did put in thumb screws for the expansion cards so it is slightly tool-less, and you can pull a card to clean it without tools if you had to.
The change that I think will make the most users happy is the increase of space between the motherboard tray and side panel. The extra space made all the difference running cables.
The only issue I ran into running cables was with the front panel switch wires being a tad short to reach the motherboard connections. Mileage may vary depending on the placement of the connections on your motherboard.
Now if you are a gamer or just prefer the look of the gamer line over the performance series, the Eleven Hundred is coming. It will bring with it an updated design as well. So sit tight, gamers will get some love soon.
Antec says that the Performance One P280 will carry an MSRP of $139.95. This is not too out of line for the Performance One series cases. Price-wise the Antec P280 falls in-between the P193 and P183. So, if you are in the market for a classy looking case with the room inside for high-end parts, give the P280 a good look.
Legit Bottom Line: Antec set out to update the Performance One series based on customer feedback, but keep the style that is the Performance One series. They did just that, and released a nice case in the process.