The extruded side panels help make the cable compartment somewhat larger, though.
Anyway, the cable management system is far from handy. The problem is about the fastening of the side panels. Although similar to better solutions in shape, it is actually the same as in the cheapest of products: you have to fix the grooves at the top and bottom of the panels in the four protrusions on the chassis. This process proves to be difficult when there are a lot of cables behind the mainboard.
The single-piece disk rack consists of five 3.5-inch bays. You have to take the right panel off in order to install your drives into it. The access to the rack is blocked by the honeycomb mesh from the other side.
A couple of rails are attached to the drive to insert the latter into a bay. That’s a popular quick-fastening system. The Antec One only differs from the most low-cost modifications in having metal rather than plastic prongs on the rails. Besides, it allows you to fasten the rails to the sides of the HDD case using the middle mounting holes.
As shown in the photo above, one of our rails was defective. It had no metal prongs.
The Antec One has dedicated bays for 2.5-inch drives: one on the bottom panel below the disk rack and another above the full-size bays.
The quick fasteners of 5.25-inch drives are secure enough and you can additionally fix the device with screws from both sides (but only at one point on the farther side).
Unfortunately, the Antec One doesn’t have an external 3.5-inch bay or an adapter to make one out of a 5.25-inch bay, so it is going to be difficult to install an internal card-reader. Alas, 5.25-inch card-readers are less popular and look rather clumsy.
The CPU cooler cutout in the mainboard's mounting plate is huge.
The accessories to the Antec One include a brief user manual (the complete manual can be downloaded from the Antec website, as usual), mounting screws and drive rails, a couple of single-use cable straps and a USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 header adapter. The last accessory may be needed if your system has no USB 3.0.
The Antec One is quite easy to assemble a computer in but there are a lot of nuisances, even though each one of them is just a trifle: the side panels are fastened in an inconvenient way, there is no cutout for the CPU power cable, it is difficult to install a PSU due to the stiffening rib, the expansion-slot brackets are not reusable, there are no rubber covers on the cable cutouts. And the lack of adequate dust protection is going to require more vacuum-cleaning on the user’s part.
This stream of criticisms can be easily stopped by mentioning the price of the Antec One, though. It sells for about $50 at online shops. There are very few worthy alternatives in that price category, especially if USB 3.0 support is a requirement.
The Antec One comes with two preinstalled 120mm exhaust fans at the back of the chassis (on the back and top panels) and allows installing two more 120mm fans (on the front and side panels) and one 120/140mm fan (on the bottom panel). As we've already mentioned above, none of these fan installation points is equipped with a dust filter.
The preinstalled fans have a specified speed of 1200 RPM. When our mainboard regulated them in the Silent mode, their speed was 760 to 780 RPM.
The acoustic comfort is worsened by the wide walls of the honeycomb cells of the back-panel fan grid which resist the air flow too much. The rest of the grids, although punched-out just like this one, are slimmer in design.
The assembled Antec One is hardly an eye-catching view, yet it looks good enough for its $50 price tag.
- Very robust chassis
- Supports USB 3.0
- No protection against dust
- Single-use expansion-slot brackets, low-quality feet and no front fan
- Inefficient design of the fan grid in the back panel
- No external 3.5-inch bay
- Rather inefficient cable management system