[section_title title=Closer Look – Exterior]Closer Look – Exterior
The ARC Mini R2 comes in a relatively large brown box and features an outlined illustration of the case itself on the front. On the rear we have a diagram of each of the different areas of the chassis and as you can see, the Fractal Design logo is in the top left corner, the snowflake in the bottom left and the website URL in the bottom right.
Taking a first look at the Fractal Design ARC Mini R2 case, as you can probably tell by looking, the entire case is black throughout. On this side we have a main bay window which stops around the HDD bay area. The side panel itself feels very well made and doesn’t flex like some cheaper cases do; one of the things I look for in a case is the strength of the panels.
On the other side, we have a full bodied side panel which follows the same black theme as the rest of the ARC Mini R2. This panel is also of high quality and feels quite weighty; not that weight is a measure of quality but it sure does help. I’m sure a slightly thicker side panel will help with noise reduction too, as there’s a lot less flex.
The front of the case has a hard mesh panel which allows air to come in via the intake fans which has the Fractal Design logo stuck on; you can remove this if you wish but I think it looks good with it still on. Also present towards the top, is 2 x 5.25” drive bays for devices such as DVD-RW drives, Blu-Ray drives and even for those water coolers among us who might want to fit a 5.25” drive bay res/pump in.
The ARC Mini R2 features a top mounted front I/O which includes the following connections:
2 x USB 3.0 ports
1 x Fan controller
2 x 3.5mm front panel audio inputs (headphone + microphone)
Also located in this area is a small reset switch to the left hand side and a power switch which sits in the middle of the I/O.
The top of the ARC Mini R2 also features the same hard mesh as the front and extends right to the back of the case. The top panel can be removed via 2 x thumbscrews at the rear and this allows you to mount fans + radiators in the top. Personally it looks a lot better in the flesh than in the illustration and this is something I am a huge fan of.
On the rear of the case, there is 2 x rubber grommets which are designed for assisting water coolers and with the majority of cases, there is also the rear I/O area. The ARC Mini R2 has 4 x expansion slots which are white plates held in place with thumb screws, I much prefer this type of PCI blanking plate as it not only looks neater, but if you downgrade and need to use less, they can be re-attached.
The Fractal Design ARC Midi R2 comes with a dust cover filter for the power supply on the bottom of the case, which protects the power supply from being clogged with dust, it is also removable and can be cleaned using your own method. Also the ARC Mini R2 has rubber feet which is designed to raise the case above the surface to allow air to circulate underneath and to protect the case from damaging any surface it might be placed upon.