HardwareCanuck Review Editor
- Feb 26, 2007
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The newest addition to Fractal Design’s award winning lineup is the new Arc Midi R2, a case which may be compact but is crammed full of features and innovative add-ons. More importantly and like the Define R4 we reviewed a few weeks ago, the Midi R2 is supposed to improve upon its predecessor in every way possible.
Considering the original Arc Midi is considered by many to be the very epitome of mid-tower case engineering, finding areas that required updating wasn’t easy. Nonetheless, Fractal has made subtle changes where necessary while also bringing several areas up to modern standards and keeping the price below $120.
The Arc Midi R2 may look a lot like the case it replaces; there have been a number of subtle changes to the exterior design as well. The front panel still holds a pair of drive bays, top-mounted I/O connectors and a removable dust filter covering a pair of intake fan mounts. However, the R2’s side window now has a well-placed acrylic window (though no additional fan mounts) with a slightly tinted finish and there's a front-mounted fan controller, . All of this was accomplished without moving the Midi’s price point away from the $120 mark.
As usual, Fractal Design’s focus on build quality is quite evident here. The R2’s material seams are close to perfect and the individual metal panels are quite thick, leading to an overall solid feel. There are a few very slight color differences but they can only be seen when the case is placed in direct sunlight.
Where Fractal excels is in their ability to offer a deceptively large amount of room in a smaller chassis. Not only can the R2 accept graphics cards with lengths of 12” or more but it also incorporates mounting locations for up to seven fans (three of these are occupied by Silent Series R2 fans) and even space for two 240mm radiators. Cable routing has been addressed as well with plenty of rubber grommets placed at strategic locations around the motherboard tray.
For anyone looking in the market for a sleek, compact and feature-packed mid tower case, the Arc Midi R2 is a great choice. Watch the video above for our full review.