Corsair CC-9011070-WW Carbide Series Air 240 MicroATX
The Carbide Series Air 240 is about the same size as the Graphite Series 380T I reviewed earlier this year, with one major difference: it’s a box, or rectangular cuboid, if you prefer. If Corsair carved the 380T’s curvaceous shape out of a block of clay, like a 1950s concept car, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Air 240’s conception stopped with the block.
The boxy design has its advantages, though. The Air 240 has room for both Mini-ITX and microATX motherboards, while the 380T is limited to Mini-ITX motherboards only. Corsair also had enough room to divide the interior of the Air 240 into two separate chambers: one for the motherboard, CPU, and graphics cards, and the other for SSDs, 3.5″ mechanical drives, and the power supply. Corsair claims this design allows for unobstructed airflow to the hottest components of the PC inside.
The left panel is windowed to show off those hot components. The left chamber is wrapped with vents at the top, side, and bottom. These vents are covered in metal mesh, and all of them are filtered. The filters are a welcome touch, but washing dust and dander from them will be difficult, since they’re semi-permanently attached to their respective panels with screws and metal tabs.
The front panel has all of the requisite port, jacks, and buttons we’ve come to expect: a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a mic jack, a headphone jack, and power and reset buttons. Like every other small-form-factor case that’s passed through my labs, the Air 240 lacks a 5.25″ expansion bay. For builders who don’t want to rely on an external optical drive, Corsair offers the larger Carbide Series Air 540, which has a similar dual-chamber design but also makes room for two 5.25″ bays.
The right chamber has a full-length vent for the power supply and storage bays. This vent is covered by one of Corsair’s signature magnetic dust filters, which should be far easier to work with than the semi-permanently-attached ones elsewhere on the case.
The Air 240 can sit either horizontally or vertically, although the benefits of the horizontal (or “desktop”) orientation seem dubious to me. The case occupies more square footage in this mode, and the windowed side panel means you probably don’t want to put anything on top of the case to save desk space. A neat touch: you can remove and rotate the Corsair emblem to match the orientation of the case. It’s held in by magnets.
The exterior of the Air 240 is mostly finished in a matte black plastic—save for the metal side panels and frame, which are covered in standard black crinkle paint. As with most of the matte plastic finishes I’ve encountered, the Air 240’s attracts fingerprints like a magnet. Be careful with your Air 240 if you want it to remain pristine.
Corsair Carbide Series Air 240 High Airflow MicroATX and Mini-ITX PC Case is an extraordinary small form factor case made for maximum cooling. The eye-catching cube design – complete with a full side window – hosts an internal layout optimized for maximum airflow or advanced water-cooling configurations (including a 240 mm radiator or two). This little one handles full size components while still offering roomy installation space. The unusual interior design is optimized to allow the intake fans to deliver cool air directly to your components that generate the most heat. Although it’s the same size as many Mini-ITX cases, the Air 240 supports MicroATX motherboards. This gives you the option of installing dual GPUs.Tool-free 3.5-inches drive, 2.5-inches drive and side panel removal means that builds and upgrades can be performed without reaching for a screwdriver. The CPU backplate cutout allows you to upgrade your CPU cooler without taking out the motherboard. The Air 240 has pre-spaced holes for 240 mm radiators on the top, bottom and front. If you’re using a Mini-ITX motherboard, you can add both front and bottom 240 mm radiators. If you’re using a MicroATX motherboard with dual GPUs, you can install a front 240 mm radiator.The flexibility goes beyond dual Mini-ITX and MicroATX compatibility. The included rubber feet can be placed on any of three surfaces, so you can customize the orientation of the chassis: as a standard tower, an inverted tower or as a desktop. The panoramic window allows you to admire your work. The Air 240 has cable routing holes with grommets and tie-downs, with dedicated cable housing space behind the motherboard tray. It’s easy to move your cables out of the way and out of the airflow path. Up-front connectors make it easy to attach USB flash drives, portable hard drives and USB headsets.