The newest model in the Performance One series differs from its predecessors in a number of ways. The P280 is comparable to the ex-flagship P193 in its external dimensions and interior volume and may even be superior in expansion opportunities, but is lighter (and cheaper) than the smaller P183.
Despite some differences, this system case is obviously closely related to the above-discussed Eleven Hundred. Yes, it’s got different front and side panels and there’s a pair of 120mm fans, not a single 200mm fan, at the top, but the position of the Power and Reset buttons, the intricately shaped bottom, the fastening of the dust filter in the PSU bay and the back panel for nine expansion slots leave no doubts as to whether the P280 and the Eleven Hundred are based on the same platform or not.
When it comes to the back panel, the difference between the two models boils down to the fan control panel. The Eleven Hundred only had one switch for the fan’s highlighting whereas the P280 is capable of controlling up to three fans. As opposed to Antec’s earlier products with three speed modes, the P280 only offers two speeds to choose from. The exclusive cooling system has been accordingly renamed TwoCool instead of TriCool.
Finally, we’ve got a system case with proper feet which are soft and ensure a good grip. The silicone inserts keep the P280 fixed in its place and prevent any vibrations from moving down to the floor or desk.
The P280 has got the dual-hinge front door typical of the Performance One series. The door can be opened up to get parallel to the side panel. It is now padded with foam rubber on the inside as a kind of soundproofing (we’ve seen the same solution in the Define R3 and Define XL products from Fractal Design).
This padding doesn’t help much, though, because right behind the front door there are wide vent slits that let the air pass through to the front fans. Unfortunately, the fans themselves are optional, just like with every other Antec covered in this review.
The front filter is free from both downsides mentioned in the description of the Eleven Hundred. You only need to open the door and press the latch to take the filter off. Unclean air can’t get inside past the filter, either.
The position and selection of I/O ports and indicators have remained the same as in the Eleven Hundred. The only difference is the plastic faceplate. There is no adapter for connecting the mainboard’s USB 3.0 headers to the system case’s USB 2.0 ports.