January 23, 2019 // 3 p.m.
Manufacturer: Fractal Design
UK price (as reviewed): MSRP £139.99 (inc. VAT) (£131.99 inc. VAT for non-tempered glass)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP $149.99 (exc. tax) ($139.99 exc. tax for non-tempered glass)
In a rare show of logical PC hardware naming, the new Meshify S2 from Fractal Design is very much a merging of design features from two existing cases: the Meshify C and Define S2. Originally geared towards the mid-range with sub-£100 pricing, the new chassis brings the airflow-focused Meshify family to a more premium level with pricing that is more in line with the Define S2. As regular readers will know, the Define S2 is a chassis we consider to be first class, so we’re hoping the Meshify S2 can follow suit.
The Meshify S2 is available in four flavours: a base level black one with an MSRP of £132, and three tempered glass editions (black, black with dark tinted glass, and white) each priced a little higher at £140 and coming with a tempered glass left side panel instead of a second steel one. We’ve been furnished with a tempered glass one, which we suspect most will want to opt for.
The chassis adopts Define S2-like dimensions and is noticeably longer than it is tall. It’s predominantly made of steel, and build quality is on the whole appropriate for the price. Only the outer front panel is hewn from plastic, and the panels all align without issue and form a very robust whole that’s supported by useful rubber-tipped feet.
As implied by the name, the Meshify range has always prioritised airflow, and it’s no different here. The angular front panel is pretty much entirely mesh as is the vast majority of the roof. You also get three 140mm fans included (two front intake, one rear exhaust), but there’s scope for installing up to nine fans in total, and all of these can be 120mm or 140mm, so there’s plenty of flexibility. The fans themselves are Fractal’s own Dynamic X2 GP-14 models with a peak speed of 1,000 RPM.
With all that ventilation, adequate dust filtration is a must, and Fractal has seen to this too. A full-length dust filter covers the lower fan mounts and PSU, and this pulls out from the front which is much preferred to trying to make room behind your PC. Once this is out, the front mesh section, which has filter material integrated, clips out via a little tab. Finally, a button on the rear of the case will pop off the roof segment of mesh, and this too has the filter integrated. Fractal says it is using ‘high airflow’ nylon filters in all three places.
The front panel is simple and effective. As well as dual USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks, Fractal includes a proper USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port with fast charge support and full 10Gbps throughput via one of the new headers. True to previous form, the chassis has no integrated RGB lighting or controller, instead choosing to act as a neutral, blank canvas – fine by us.
The final externally accessible feature is the removable roof cooling bracket. With the outer mesh section off, the inner steel fan/radiator mounting is exposed, and releasing four screws here will allow you to pull it out entirely and mount your fans and/or radiator with ease before lowering the entire apparatus back in. Similar features are found elsewhere, but the implementation here is still very good.