The outside of a case should in many aspects mirror the quality of the inside of the case. Nexus presents us with a very tight-looking design.
The front of the case has a very nice hairline finish with a chrome, vertical stripe on it. The Nexus logo is printed neatly on the bottom. The most interesting optical feature of the front panel is the that it is shaped like a half oval which ends on the left side of the case in another smaller, inverted half oval. It’s a difficult shape to describe, but ultimately it looks very nice.
The motherboard-side panel of the case is as plain as you can expect it from any case. Both this side and the other are made out of sturdy aluminum.
The main side panel of the Nexus Edge has a nice handgrip and the option to lock the case with one of the supplied sets of keys. I had a small issue with this particular side panel as it does not fit without forcing it shut. It’s doable but it takes some pressure. I tried to solve this issue by setting the lock in all different options but to no avail.
There are four little ‘feet’ that the case stands on. These can be turned 90° in order to provide a stable positioning. The feet themselves are not the most pretty and aren’t really necessary for the case to remain stable.
The back of the case features a rather standard-looking design. On the left-top we find the I/O panel with the right outlet for the optional 12cm fan.
Moving down we find the PCI I/O panel and the four water cooling tube openings. It isn’t really clear to me why Nexus has put these four openings on the back of the case. The only reason would be an external reservoir but the outside of the case has no serious mounting options for a radiator, excluding maybe a 1x12cm radiator on the above said outlet for the optional 12cm fan. Even then, four tube openings seems a bit many.
Moving down a little more we find the 14cm exhaust fan which is smartly placed between the upper and lower area. The PSU can also be found on the bottom of the case, which has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss later.
The top of the case is where it starts to get a bit silly. Since every part of the case we discusses until now is made out of sturdy aluminum, you would expect the top of the case to be too, it partially is. The other part is the aerodynamic, aesthetical extension of the case, and it is plastic. It looks a bit cheap, it feels a bit cheap but on the other hand is applied to the case in a rock solid way, and fits the design perfectly. Looking a bit closer we see another pretty Nexus 14cm fan spinning behind the grid.
Moving on to the front of the top of the case there is the so-called front panel. It features the power and reset button, a power and HDD-LED, two USB-ports, an E-SATA port and of course a microphone and audio connector.
The front panel looks as if it is fit separately in the extension I previously talked about. As you can see on the picture below, the sides of the front panel catch a lot of dust and dirt after just a few hours of work. This can be seen very clearly due to the mirror effect the shiny plastic has.
Last but not least the opened–up front door. It actually consists of two doors. One to normally access the optical drives and one to install them. This last door can also be locked with another supplied set of keys. It’s also made out of plastic and looks cheap in comparison to the aluminum front door. When both doors are opened they seem to be attached a bit sloppy, as if a bit of rough use could make them fall off, which actually did happen while testing.
As you can see from the previous picture, the most top 5.25” bay of the nine 5.25” bays is a 5.25” to 3.25” converter tray which allows you to install any 3.25” components in a more accessible place.