NZXT Bunker Review

Author: Steve S.
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/NZXT_Bunker/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

If you leave your computer in a public area, attend LAN parties or even shared housing, one of the things you might worry about is theft. It seems unlikely for someone to take off with a large computer, but that doesn't make USB devices like keyboards, mice, headphones or even flash drives any less attractive. NZXT's newest case accessory aims to address this issue. It fits into a single 5.25 inch drive bay and features a built-in 4 port USB hub, complete with a locking door to prevent the removal of any attached USB devices.

The Bunker has a "sophisticated 20 key lock system" to make it hard even for someone with a similar key to unlock it. The USB hub allows you to connect up to 4 USB devices, such as a keyboard, mouse and a headset. There is an opening under the door thin enough to allow cables through, but it's still too narrow for the USB connectors themselves. The idea is that the connectors the USB devices will get caught if you attempt to pull them free without unlocking the door. When you open the door, the USB hub slides out for easier access. Conversely the hub slides back inside when you close the door to bring the connectors back safely inside the drive bay..

   

The NZXT Bunker was a little challenging to install. The four plastic screw holes on either side are non-threaded, so the screws required some force to, well, force in. After I installed the Bunker, I enabled the USB ports on the hub by plugging it directly into one of the USB headers on my motherboard using the supplied two foot long cable.

After I installed the Bunker, it was easy enough to plug in my USB devices. The door slot allows room for most cables to fit through, but it will be a tight fit for thicker USB cables. It's important to note that only USB plugs that are 1.6 inches (4.2cm) or shorter will actually fit behind the door; any longer and you won't be able to close it, essentially rendering the Bunker useless as a security measure for your front panel USB devices. The port closest to the door hinge in particular has a limit of 0.86 inches (2.2cm).

While I was using the Bunker, it actually broke twice: once while I was closing the door, the mesh on it actually popped out. This wouldn't have compromised security as the door was still securely locked and there still wasn’t a way to remove the cables. Fortunately I was able to simply push the mesh back in place, and it hasn’t fallen out since.

While trying to close the door on another occassion, part of the mechanism that moves the USB ports back similarly broke. A small piece of plastic that connects the hinge on the door to the arm that moves the ports snapped off, preventing the USB ports from moving relative to the door position and thus leaving them locked forward.

The NZXT Bunker seems like a clever and innovative case accessory. It gives a good first impression and may be enough to bring peace of mind to anyone worried about someone stealing USB accessories. However, it does have some bad flaws. It is largely made of plastic so it breaks much easier than if it was made of metal. It's could be sturdy enough to prevent someone from just walking by and grabbing a device thats plugged in, but if they had a screwdriver they could easily jam it under the door, pry it up and break it giving them access to the plugs. A simple design change from plastic to metal would vastly improve the structural integrity, and the value, of the Bunker.

The Bunker is scheduled for release in March with an MRSP of $24.99.

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