Corsair Carbide Air 240 mATX Case

Founded in 1994, Corsair quickly became known for their award winning memory and flash drives.  Over the years, they slowly entered other computer peripheral markets such as keyboards, headphones, mice and cases.  Each time they showed their strength in knowing what it takes to make high end hardware, while at the same time keeping the price reasonable.  Their computer case line consists of the Vengeance, Graphite, Carbide and Obsidian; Legit Reviews has taken a look at many of these and has always been impressed with the quality and features.  Releasing a new model is always met with anticipation and high expectations.  Recently they introduced the Carbide Air 240, a micro ATX cube case that included a wide range of cooling and storage options. Corsair-Air-240-External-Full-View The Carbide Air 240 supports both micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards, and also includes support for three 3.5" hard drives and three 2.5" hard drives (in reality it can support six 2.5" hard drives if you don't install any 3.5" drives).  The Air 240 measures 397mm x 260mm x 320mm (L x W x H) or 15.6in x 10.2in x 12.6in (L x W x H), and weighs just 5.6kg (12.35lbs).  There is a large side panel window to show off the system components, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 on the front panel and it will support a wide range of cooling options. Corsair-Air-240-Internal-Drive-Cages Using separate hard drive cages for 2.5" and 3.5" drives allows for some flexibility. Both of the drive cages support three drives, which limits the user to six drives.  The 3.5" drive trays support both 2.5" and 3.5" drives, which allows flexibility. Corsair Carbide AIR240_AIRFLOW For a small case, Corsair packs in many options for cooling, and by keeping the components separated in two chambers, it creates two cooling zones.  The hottest zone will be with the motherboard and video cards, this is where the most cooling will be necessary.  In this zone, Corsair has included two 120mm intake fans, and one 120mm top exhaust fan.  This could be expanded with up to two 120mm fans in the bottom, two 80mm fans in the back and one more 120mm at the top.  Or simply switch to liquid cooling, which the Air 240 can support up to a 240mm radiator in multiple locations. If the Corsair Carbide Air 240 meets your expectations and design style, you can find it online for $89.99 with free shipping, in either black (CC-9011070-WW) or white (CC-9011069-WW), which also includes a 2 year warranty. Features and Specifications:

Meet the Carbide Series Air 240 – an extraordinary small form factor PC case for Mini-ITX and MicroATX computers.

The eye-catching cube design -- complete with a full side window -- hosts an internal layout optimized for maximum airflow or advanced water-cooling configurations (including a 240mm radiator or two).

The unusual interior design is optimized to allow the intake fans to deliver cool air directly to your components that generate the most heat.

Carbide Air 240 Specifications
Warranty Two Years
Weight 5.6kg
Color Black
Form Factor MicroATX
Dimensions 397mm x 260mm x 320mm
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, MicroATX
Maximum GPU Length 290mm
Maximum CPU Cooler Height 120mm
Maximum PSU Length 240mm
Expansion Slots 4
Drive Bays (x3) 3.5in(x3) 2.5in
Material Steel
Power Supply ATX (not included)
External Connections (x2) USB 3.0(x1) Headphone Port(x1) Microphone Port
Fan Mount Locations Front: (x2) 120mm Top: (x2) 120mm Rear: (x2) 80mm Bottom: (x2) 120mm Side: (x1) 120mm
Fans Included Front: (x2) 120mm Rear: (x1) 120mm
Radiator Mount Locations Front: 240mm Bottom: 240mm
Compatible Corsair Liquid Coolers H55, H60, H75, H80i, H100i, H105
Part Number CC-9011070-WW
Now that we know a little about the Corsair Carbide Air 240, let's take a quick look at how it is packaged and what accessories comes with the case.  Then we'll take a look at the case itself.

Carbide Air 240 Packaging

Corsair-Air-240-Packaging-Front Pretty standard plain brown packaging, the Corsair Carbide Air 240 provides plenty of information for users to know what this case is capable of.  The front of the box provides an overview of the case, and a little paragraph describing what the case can support.  The box is pretty small, considering this is designed for mATX and mITX systems.  The box measures 15in x 18.5in x 13.5in (HxLxW) and weighs in at close to 14lbs. Corsair-Air-240-Packaging-Back Turning to the back of the box, Corsair gives an exploded view of the Air 240, showing the internal components.  Some of the key features are listed below the picture in multiple languages to save on global packaging needs. Corsair-Air-240-Packaging-Sides The sides of the box is where Corsair provides the bulk of the information on the Carbide Air 240.  The same information is provided on both sides of the box, just in different languages.  Here the specifications of the case is listed, focusing on the drive bays, cooling options, mother board compatibility, front I/O ports and power supply compatibility. Corsair-Air-240-Packaging-Interior Opening the box, we can see how Corsair packages the Air 240 for shipment.  On the top and bottom of the case are two large Styrofoam blocks to protect it.  The case itself is placed in a plastic bag to keep moisture away from the case.  This is fairly standard packaging for cases, so it was not unexpected. Corsair-Air-240-Packaging-Accessories Corsair packages the accessories for the Air 240 in separate plastic bags.  There is a one sheet user guide that shows a detailed exploded view of the case, and a listing of the various accessories.  These accessories include six zip ties, four rubber feet, one extra stand off, four pan head SSD screws, four long fan screws, sixteen standard fan screws, sixteen SSD screws, and sixteen motherboard screws.

Carbide Air 240 External Impressions

Corsair-Air-240-External-Full-View The Corsair Carbide Air 250 is available in Arctic White and Black models, supporting Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards, it is a rather small case.  The dimensions of the case is 397mm x 260mm x 320mm (L x W x H) or 15.6in x 10.2in x 12.6in (L x W x H), and weighs just 5.6kg (12.35lbs) empty. Corsair-Air-240-External-Front Looking at the front of the Air 240, half of it is mostly mesh wire, while the other half is solid.  Looking through the wire mesh, we can see the two intake fans.  On the solid half, the front I/O cluster is located.  This cluster includes a reset button, hard disk activity LED, power button, microphone/headphone jacks and two USB SuperSpeed 3.0 ports. Corsair-Air-240-External-Side-Window The left side panel features a large window into the case, and measures 12in x 9in (L x H).  Once the components are installed, this window will provide a nice view of the completed system. Corsair-Air-240-External-Back The back panel is pretty basic with everything we would expect to see.  On the right half, we find the motherboard I/O port key, with four vented expansion slot covers, and two 80mm fans.  On the left side, there is a large vented cover that is held in place with a single thumbscrew, and the power supply, which will be placed on its side, pulling fresh air in through the side panel. Corsair-Air-240-External-Back-35-Cover-Off Removing that cover above the power supply, we find three 3.5" hard drive trays.  This should make it easy to access them, however the side panel still needs to be removed in order to disconnect the cables.  So, two panels are removed to swap hard drives.  Had Corsair installed a backplane for the hard drives to slide into, it would have made it easier to swap drives.  In addition, there is no lock on the cover, so if  you go to a LAN party with the Air 240, somebody could quickly take the drives out and walk away. Corsair-Air-240-External-Side-Back While the main side panel has a large window, the right hand side panel is half solid, and half vented.  Previously we mentioned the power supply draws air through the side panel, and this confirms it.  The other half of the vented area can be used to install a 120mm fan or small liquid cooling radiator. Corsair-Air-240-External-Side-Back-No-Filter The filter on the side panel is extremely easy to remove as it is held in place with magnets. Corsair-Air-240-External-Top The top panel, is once again half vented and half solid, like the front panel.  The vented half, Corsair includes one 120mm fan, and there is room for a second fan to be installed. Corsair-Air-240-External-Top-Bezel-Off The top panel is held in place with a thumbscrew on the back panel, then it slides off.  With the top panel off, we can see the large amount of room for the second 120mm fan, with plenty of empty space left over.  On the other half, which was under the solid portion of the top panel we find the three 2.5" hard drive trays.  Like the 3.5" trays on the back panel, we have to remove two panels in order to change the 2.5" drives. Corsair-Air-240-External-Bottom The bottom panel looks almost identical to the top panel.  There are no feet pre-installed on the Carbide Air 240, Corsair included those in its accessory pack, should they be installed, there are no markings where the feet should go.

Carbide Air 240 Internal Impressions

Corsair-Air-240-Internal-MB-Full The side panel is removed by two thumbscrews at the back of the case, and then it swings out for easy removal.  Immediately, a could of things stood out for me.  The first is the large hole in the motherboard tray to install CPU coolers after the motherboard has been installed.  It is partially covered by the 3.5" hard drive cage, so that would need to be removed as well.  Next thing is the large number of cable management holes in the tray, with five holes there should be plenty of room to route the cables and keep the interior clean.  Without installing a front radiator, a graphics card up to 290mm will fit without any issues. Corsair-Air-240-Internal-MB-Front As we mentioned earlier, Corsair has included two 120mm front intake fans, these are model A1225L12S-2, which has nine fan blades, and has a rated speed of 1300RPM.  These could be removed an a 240mm radiator installed, and depending on the other components, possibly even in a push/pull configuration. Corsair-Air-240-Internal-MB-Bottom The bottom panel is fully vented, so a couple of 120mm fans could be installed here as well, or if preferred up to a 240mm radiator (depending on the other components). Corsair-Air-240-Internal-MB-Back The back panel provides no surprises after we looked at it from the exterior.  Two 80mm fans can be installed above the motherboard key, and the four vented expansion slot covers are held in place with a tension bracket.  If desired, screws can be used in addition to the tension bracket.  With the back panel supporting 80mm fans, the CPU cooler can only be 120mm high. Corsair-Air-240-Internal-MB-Top Another view of the top panel, if a second 120mm fan is installed here, the middle section would still be open. Power Supply and Hard Drive Section Corsair-Air-240-Internal-PSU-Full Switching to the other side, here we find the location for the power supply to be installed.  Corsair says a power supply up to 225mm in length can be installed, but to be honest, you can install the longer ones up to 290mm without any issues.  At the top of this side are the two hard drive cages, the 2.5" cage at the front, and 3.5" cage at the back. Corsair-Air-240-Internal-PSU-Side-No-Cagees The two hard drive cages can easily be removed, the 2.5" cage there is a thumbscrew internally, and a pan head screw on the top panel to be removed.  The 3.5" cage there is only one thumbscrew to be removed.  With the 3.5" cage removed, we can see the entire hole in the tray to make installing CPU coolers easier. Corsair-Air-240-Internal-Drive-Cages The two different hard drive cages can be removed from the inside of the case.  To remove them, the 2.5" cage has both a pan head screw and a thumbscrew securing it to the chassis, while the 3.5" cage only uses a thumbscrew.  For both cages there are guides to make sure the cage slides into the right position before securing it to the chassis.  This implementation would make it easy for Corsair to provide an upgraded drive cages with a backplane already in place to make the installation of drives much easier to accomplish rather than needing to remove two panels. Corsair-Air-240-Internal-Drive-Trays Pretty standard hard drive trays are included in the Carbide Air 240.  Three 3.5" drive trays are included, which also support 2.5" drives; with the three 2.5" drives a total of six 2.5" drives can be installed.  Slightly bending the tray will allow the drive to slide into the proper position.  

Carbide Air 240 Hardware Installation

Corsair-Air-240-Build-MB Installing a Micro ATX board in the Air 240 goes off without a hitch.  Everything lines up perfectly, and the four exposed cable management holes makes it easy to route cables to keep the interior clean.  If you decide on air cooling for the CPU, you will need to keep in mind that the Carbide Air 240 only supports CPU Coolers up to 120mm.  Of course a liquid cooler won't have to contend with this height issue, but you're limited to 240mm radiators. Corsair-Air-240-Build-PSU-Side There were no real surprises when installing everything on the power supply side.  Corsair has installed four rubber feet for the power supply to rest on, which will reduce vibration noise.  The side panel is vented to allow for the power supply to bring in cool air.  While the cables haven't been organized, there is a large amount of room to get them organized, which would improve airflow and even allow for installing a fan or liquid cooling radiator on the side panel. Corsair-Air-240-Build-CPU-Support Before reinstalling the 3.5" hard drive cage, we took a look at how much room there is for installing a CPU cooler after the motherboard has been installed.  It could be a little annoying to do it later, as the 3.5" hard drive cage has to be removed, but that's easily done. Corsair-Air-240-Build-HD-on-Trays Both sizes of hard drives pop into their associated rail with ease.  Slightly bending the tray allows for the drive to pop into the slot. Corsair-Air-240_Corsair-Air-240-Build-Complete-GPU With the video card installed, it's time to close up the case and look at the final build.  Even with the Gigabyte HD7870 installed, there is just about 3in of space between the end of the video card and the front intake fan, leaving plenty of room for a 240mm radiator in push/pull configuration. Corsair-Air-240_Corsair-Air-240-Build-Complete-Window Looking through the window, all the hard work on the motherboard and GPU can be seen.  The cable management behind the motherboard is invisible since the back panel doesn't have a window.

Corsair Carbide Air 240 Final Thoughts and Conclusions

When looking to build a mATX or mITX system, there are plenty of options to choose from.  Nearly every case manufacturer has cases for these smaller motherboards.  So after narrowing it down to a few cases, why should the Corsair Carbide Air 240 be the final decision.  The hard drive tray design is one reason, maybe the great cooling options or finally the option to put two higher end video cards in a small system.  One thing not to miss though is Corsairs attention to quality and high quality build construction. Corsair-Air-240_Corsair-Air-240-Build-Complete-Window For a small case, measuring 397mm x 260mm x 320mm (L x W x H) or 15.6in x 10.2in x 12.6in (L x W x H), and weighing 5.6kg (12.35lbs) the Carbide Air 240 allows for a very flexible system.  Behind the motherboard tray, using a tray design, there are three trays that support 3.5" or 2.5" drives, and three 2.5" drives, allowing for a total of six hard drives to be installed. Room for larger video cards is often a sacrifice when building small systems, as the Carbide Air 240 supports mATX systems, you can fit in two video cards up to 13in in length.  While this will restrict you from the higher end video cards, it will fit most of the mid-range cards like the new nVidia 970 and Radeon 290.  For the CPU, you can always go to liquid cooling using up to 240mm radiators or continue to use air cooling, making sure the CPU cooler is under 120mm or 4.7in. The one thing I didn't care for on the Air 240 is how the hard drives are installed.  Overall, their installation is nice and makes it fairly easy to swap drives.  However, having to remove two panels in order to swap drives makes it a little more cumbersome than it should be.  While installing backplanes would make it much easier to swap drives, it would also add to the cost of the case.  This could be a nice add-on that Corsair could offer for the Air 240. The vented areas on the front, top, bottom and sides have wire mesh filters installed; which is greatly appreciated.  However, only the side panel filter is easily cleaned.  The other filters will require the use of a vacuum or removing the associated panel to clean them. Corsair-Air-240-Build-PSU-Side Cable management on the Air 240 is easy accomplished, as there are plenty of ways to route the cables to the power supply side.  While I didn't spend any time trying to clean up the cables, on this side, with some zip ties, they could easily be cleaned up and made to look really nice.  The hard drives go into position without any issues, the only word of caution would be to take your time connecting the cables to the hard drives, and it can get a little tight plugging in the connectors on the drives closest to the back. Priced at $89.99 with free shipping, it will be hard to find a case that can match everything the Corsair Carbide Air 240 has to offer; which includes a 2 year warranty. LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line:  The Corsair Carbide Air 240 has many great features going for it.  I especially liked the tray design for the 3.5" and 2.5" drives, but was a little disappointed in removing two panels to swap drives (a backplane would resolve this and would be a great upgrade option for users willing to pay a little extra money).