The second case offering from BitFenix is a nice one. The Survivor is a small case with lots of features and is easy to use. The Survivor is also subtle in its looks — not to flashy like its big brother, the Colossus. The Survivor still has LED lighting, but scaled way back, and even then if that is too much you have the ability to turn the lighting off.
The handle feature on the Survivor could be quite attractive to those on the move with their systems. Some may not like that it blocks some of the top exhaust, though. The ease of use for carrying the system could be a big enough plus to some to negate the worry of reduced flow. The handle can support up to 40kg or 80lbs; that’s one heavy midtower system. If your system is pushing the scales that much you might want to look at casters rather than the handle.
I like how BitFenix got the SofTouch coating incorporated into the case. The overall look and feel of the coating is still pretty unique; it does make the case stand out a little bit from the crowd. The one thing that bugged me on the panels is the way they wrapped around the back of the case. They require removing the corner cover parts to be able to pull the PSU dust filter and pull the side panels off. It would have been easier to work on if the corner parts were somehow held on with the side panel thumbscrews. If you don’t get into the system to change parts often then the setup is okay, but if you get in the case all the time you will get annoyed quickly or just leave them off.
The BitFenix Lockdown system for the expansion cards is an interesting idea, but I had some issues with the components on the Intel DX58SO motherboard and the large CPU cooler I have to install so I couldn’t install it.
The BitFenix S2 system is also a handy little security feature for your peripherals. It is easy to setup and take down, which at the end of a LAN party, the faster something tears down the better.
The Survivor has an MSRP $109 and for that you get a feature loaded midtower case with tons of room and a unique look to it. In that price range it will be competing with cases like the Antec DF-30 and Cooler Master HAF 922. All have different features that are great for the money, but the overall look of the Survivor is more to the subtle end of the scale and would be at home anywhere, not just LAN parties. That could be very attractive to those who see the over the top gamer style cases as tacky.
Legit Bottom Line: BitFenix is off to a great start with their line up with both the Colossus and the Survivor; I am looking forward to their next offering.