Test of the Fractal Design Pop Mini Air and Pop XL Air bargain cabinets – learn their secrets


Fractal Design is currently expanding its portfolio with a new product line of computer cases aptly named Pop, from which it expects considerable popularity in the future. Cabinets of this series should impress customers not only with their proverbial quality, but in this case especially with a good ratio of price and utility.

Swedish manufacturer Fractal Design today launches a brand new product line of computer cases, which it expects to be widely popular. This series aims at a lower price category, in which it should offer a good ratio of price to useful properties and quality. The short and concise naming of the product line with the word “Pop” also corresponds to the stated goal.

For us older generations (we were in the sixties when it was created), this term is deeply rooted in connection with the designation of the music genre “pop music”. As a former crossword puzzler, the naming of an Orthodox priest immediately flashed through my head. But none of that was apparently the inspiration for the name of the new range of cabinets. So let’s look for the popularity expected by the manufacturer behind the word Pop. By the way, you know what I thought right after that? Inspired by one crazy comedy, it was the equally goofy slogan “Hop and there’s a Pop”.

The manufacturer published this video about the new series of cabinets:

Even if the manufacturer does not present it like this on the outside, I dare to guess that the Pop series cabinets will replace the already outdated Focus G series models in the portfolio, which have been on the market since 2017. Both of these series share several characteristic elements, while the Pop series products are of course significantly modernized in the spirit of current trends.

The introduction of the Pop model series is interesting because cabinets of all size categories are coming to the market at once, namely from the smallest Pop Mini, through medium Pop, to the largest Pop XL. In each category, the offer is further divided into models Air (with numerous vents for ventilation) and Silent (with a more closed and soundproof casing).

To make matters worse, there is a choice of several color variants, with or without RGB elements, with a glass or metal side panel. So suddenly 27 brand new models of computer cases are coming to the market. It will not be easy to choose from such an offer.

In order to help you with a possible choice, we will introduce two models of the Pop series in a joint review. Specifically, it will be the smallest Pop Mini Air RGB model, which we will compare with the largest Pop XL Air RGB model. Something like a fight between David and Goliath.

This time, the launch of the new product is not accompanied by any company slogan (so it was not present in the documentation for the preparation of the review). According to the manufacturer, the new cabinets are focused on variety, value and versatility. It offers a wide range of color variations and the option of choosing between models specialized for silent operation or for high air flow (effective ventilation). In its materials, the manufacturer highlights the dominant features of the equipment, which we will introduce in the next chapters. There will be a secret among them.

As for the announced wide range of color variations, it only applies to medium-sized Pop models. In addition to the obligatory black and white, these are also offered in a version with an interior in turquoise, green, purple and orange.

For the Mini and XL models tested today, we only have a choice between black and white.

Fractal Design Pop Mini Air RGB

The smallest representative of the new Pop Mini model series is a compact category case with support for Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX format motherboards. So it’s not a complete crumb.

Here is a short video dedicated to the Pop Mini Air case:

Fractal Design Pop Mini Air RGB

Cabinet size categories:Mini Tower
Dimensions (depth x width x height):432 × 215 × 393 mm
Color variants:black, white
Frame material (measured thickness):steel sheet painted on both sides approx. 0.8 mm
Sidewall material (measured thickness):tempered glass thickness 3 mm, steel sheet approx. 0.8 mm
Front material:sheet steel, plastic
Supported board sizes:Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX
Number of 5.25″ positions:2x internal
Number of 3.5” positions:2x internal
Number of 2.5” positions:2+2× internal (another 2× can be purchased)
Maximum length of water cooling radiators:240 mm front and top + 120 mm rear
Position for fans:2× 120 mm / 1× 140 mm front and top + 1× 120 mm rear
Standard fitted fans:2× 120 mm front + 1× 120 mm rear
Connectors on the front panel:2x USB 3.0, headphones + microphone, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C can be purchased separately
Maximum CPU cooler height:170 mm
Maximum length of the graphics card:365 mm
Maximum length of power supply:150 mm
Case weight:7,24 kg

There are currently four (2× Air and 2× Silent) model variants of the Fractal Design Pop Mini cabinet heading to the market. The black variants are labeled Pop Mini Air RGB Black TG Clear Tint (with non-darkened glass sidewall and Aspect 12 RGB fans), Pop Mini Silent Black TG Clear Tint (with non-darkened glass sidewall and Aspect 12 fans) and Pop Mini Silent Black Solid (with both sheet metal sides). The white variant is available under the name Pop Mini Air RGB White TG Clear Tint (with non-tinted glass sidewall and Aspect 12 RGB fans).

Here is a short video dedicated to the Pop Mini Silent cabinet:

Fractal Design Pop XL Air RGB

The largest representative of the new Pop XL model series is an ATX category case with support for motherboards of all formats from Mini-ITX to E-ATX up to 280 mm in size. It does not give the impression of an extra large cabinet and it is not a Big Tower.

Here is a short video dedicated to the Pop XL Air case:

Fractal Design Pop XL Air RGB

Cabinet size categories:Midi Tower
Dimensions (depth x width x height):522 × 230 × 520 mm
Color variants:black, white
Frame material (measured thickness):double-sided lacquered steel sheet approx. 0.9 mm
Sidewall material (measured thickness):tempered glass thickness 3 mm, sheet steel approx. 0.9 mm
Front material:sheet steel, plastic
Supported board sizes:Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, Full-ATX, E-ATX (do 280 mm)
Number of 5.25″ positions:2x internal
Number of 3.5” positions:3x internal (another 1x can be purchased)
Number of 2.5” positions:2+3× internal (another 2× can be purchased)
Maximum length of water cooling radiators:360mm front, 280mm top, 140mm rear
Position for fans:3× 120 mm / 2× 140 mm front + 2× 120/140 mm top + 1× 120/140 mm rear
Standard fitted fans:3× 120 mm front + 1× 120 mm rear
Connectors on the front panel:2x USB 3.0, headphones + microphone, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C can be purchased separately
Maximum CPU cooler height:185 mm
Maximum length of the graphics card:455 mm
Maximum length of power supply:205 mm
Case weight:11,32 kg

As with the smallest model, four (2× Air and 2× Silent) model variants of the Fractal Design Pop XL cabinet are currently heading to the market. The black variants are labeled Pop XL Air RGB Black TG Clear Tint (with non-darkened glass sidewall and Aspect 12 RGB fans), Pop XL Silent Black TG Clear Tint (with non-darkened glass sidewall and Aspect 12 fans) and Pop XL Silent Black Solid (with both sheet metal sides). The white variant is available under the name Pop XL Air RGB White TG Clear Tint (with non-tinted glass sidewall and Aspect 12 RGB fans).

Here is a short video dedicated to the Pop XL Silent cabinet:

For today’s test, I chose the white models of both new products, i.e. Pop Mini Air RGB White TG Clear Tint and Pop XL Air RGB White TG Clear Tint, which will be easier for me to photograph, as the details stand out better.

Packaging

With regard to the information embargo, the two Fractal Design Pop Mimi and XL cabinets tested arrived directly from Sweden in an additional anonymous cover. The dust jacket also acted as protection against damage, so the original boxes are completely intact. In both cases, natural cardboard with a traditional monochrome print on the front walls of the boxes shows, in addition to the name, a drawing of the cabinet and an overview of the main technical parameters in English.

The side walls are nothing interesting, but on the back we can read the description of the six most important features of the cabinet in five languages ​​and see a drawing of the cabinet in its unfolded state.

The cabinets are protected inside the boxes by means of a pair of polystyrene foam moldings. The manufacturer placed the plastic grid of the ceiling dust filter in a separate plastic bag and taped it to the ceiling of the packed cabinet.


Source: Pctuning – Všechen obsah by pctuning.cz.

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