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The review unit is an pre-production sample shipped in the usual brown carton. The inner box is a plain white box with carrying handle; final production units will be an attractive full color box like other Antec products in recent years.
Ms. Kitty yawns, "Boooooring..." to the pre-production
white box of the review sample.
The black central panel offset by the matt silver wraparound curve of the side panels helps to make the Aria look narrower than it really is. The design is tastefully done, with silver colored buttons on the shiny black plastic of the center panel. The optical drive bay has a built-in automatic flip open cover like the one in the AOpen XC Cube, which eliminates color matching headaches. There are two multipurpose slots for the memory reader above the two USB 2.0 ports, firewire port and audio in/out jacks. The surface of the top panel differs from the satin aluminum of the sides: It is a ribbed plastic surface that looks vaguely like extruded aluminum.
The 120mm fan of the PSU dominates the back panel. Unusually, the AC input power connector is not on the PSU itself but on the top right on the back panel. The holes on the slot covers on the right presumably aid ventilation. The four card slot covers are held in place by an L-shaped cover that also has a screw to lock each card down.
A generic back I/O panel cover is supplied. This would normally be replaced with the one that comes with your chosen motherboard. There are four small rubber feet and no ventilation holes on the bottom aluminum panel.
Here's what you see when the top cover is removed. The procedure, by the way, is as simple as can be: A firm press on the top towards the back is enough to unlatch the top, after which it can be lifted off. A set screw on a rear tab would normally keep the top secure.
The next step in access is to flip up the drive tray and remove it. It simply pivots up and lifts off easily.
The drive bay is shown above, upside down. It accomodates an optical drive on top, a 3.5" drive below it, and two extra 3.5" drives vertically on the side U-shaped slots. There is no provision for a floppy drive.
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