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Mini-Box.com M300 Mini-ITX Enclosure
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Mini-Box.com
Source: Mini-Box.com
Purchase: Mini-Box.com
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 3 of 7 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]
Mini-Box.com M300 Mini-ITX Enclosure
January 09, 2007

The Basics (continued):

As I start to disassemble the case I begin to understand a warning printed at the beginning of the manual. There is more to it, but the bottom line is: "it has a limited assembly / disassembly cycles". The statement tells me it isn't particularly robust, and that is what I am seeing. The top cover slides into place on tracks, and is held in place by two small screws, one on either side toward the front. There are also small plastic tabs on the front face that are supposed to catch into the metal sides, but they seem rather delicate. I could foresee these being a weak spot and a potential area for damage, and Mini-Box.com seems well aware of this. A new revision of the M300 is in the works and this is one thing that will be addressed.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

As we see in the above right image, the top is actually constructed of two pieces. The U shaped piece covers the sides and top, and is held on by the two screws and tabs mentioned previously. The flat sheet of metal mounts underneath the cover and in addition to providing some rigidity, it is where hard drives mount. Countersunk holes are provided to install either two 2.5" or two 3.5" hard drives, and the whole thing secures to the case with four more countersunk holes.

The images below show the internals of the empty case, where we see the PCB for the power button and LED (left), as well as the PCB for the CompactFlash and USB ports (right). Getting back to the reference of the M300 seeming like it was spray painted, if you look at the internal photos you can see some over spray from the outside finish, and in one area I found a bit of masking tape that was left behind.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

The image below shows the balance of items included with the M300. You get the PCI riser card and a bag containing self-adhesive rubber feet and every screw you might need for assembly.

Click Image For Larger View

Installation:

Installation is quite easy as there really aren't all that many variables in a case this size. For this review, the Mini-Box.com M300 Mini-ITX Enclosure had system with the following components assembled inside of it.

VIA EPIA Nehemiah M10000 Mini-ITX motherboard
512MB Crucial PC2700 DDR memory
160GB Seagate Momentus 5400.3 2.5" hard drive
picoPSU-120 12V DC-DC ATX Power Supply
3D Fuzion 128MB GeForce 6200 PCI video card
Windows XP Professional (SP2)

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