It's cheaper models' turn, Fractal Design innovated the Focus cases
Fractal Design is not slowing down in recent days and is releasing one case after another. The line has finally made its way to the more affordable Focus cases. While you’ll pay more for the Focus 2 than the Focus G (Mini), the price increase should match the higher quality standard. And these are still cases that stay under a hundred euros. In the basic variant (without tempered glass, with two metal side panels and unlit fans) even way under.
This year’s Fractal Design roadmap also included innovations in the Focus series. This is, after the Core cases, the second cheapest option, so it’s not total low-end. The Focus 2’s volume hasn’t changed much from the Focus G (2017), although the new cases are a hair bigger by 7–10 mm on each axis. The biggest difference (10 mm) is the width, which is already 215 mm on the Focus 2. Thanks to this, taller tower coolers (up to 170 mm) are supported and there should be a hair more space from the back of the motherboard to the side panel for more convenient cable management.
There is also a difference in better optimization for liquid coolers. While the Focus G ended up supporting 280mm radiators in the front position, you can also install 360mm models in the Focus 2 cases. In the ceiling position, there’s room for a 240mm radiator anyway, but the greater height of the case will probably make installation more comfortable. Supported motherboards are up to ATX format (305 × 244 mm).
One of the biggest intergenerational differences is in the fans used. These are already modern, with ARGB LEDs. In the Focus G there are fans with white LEDs that share power with the motor. This means that the brightness intensity is dependent on the rotor speed. Focus 2 has the lighting powered separately. The number of intake fans hasn’t changed (there are two), but their format has.
Instead of 120 mm (Focus G) there are now 140 mm fans. This means that a higher airflow will be achieved at the same noise level. Cooling efficiency may not be higher. The Focus 2 cases do not have a fan pre-installed on the exhaust. It is only an optional accessory (the free position for it is traditionally 120 mm). And since the power supply (ATX up to 250 mm) has its place at the bottom, the system cooling is largely dependent on the type of cooler used. With a 240mm liquid cooler in the ceiling position, air circulation will naturally be more intense than with a tower cooler without an additional fan on the exhaust. The specs also nicely indicate what dust filters you’ll find in the case. There is a plastic one on top, a nylon one under the power supply, and a steel mesh with a finer screen in the front to act as a filter.
The pre-installed fans are Aspect 14 or Aspect RGB. Lighting applies to the RGB Black TG Clear Tint and RGB White TG Clear Tint case variants. The Black TG Clear Tint and Black TG Clear Tint variants have “plain” fans, without lighting. The “Black Solid” case does not even have tempered glass, and the left sidewall is also sheet metal.
The interior layout is the same for all Focus 2 case variants, with the back of the motherboard tray being used extensively for storage installation. Behind the front panel, the gap is wide enough to accommodate two 3.5″ HDDs (or four 2.5″ storage drives). There are then two dedicated spots next to them for 2.5-inch, typically SSDs as well. As far as port equipment is concerned, a pair of USB 3.2 gen. 2 connectors (i.e. with 5 Gbps throughput) and two 3.5mm audio jacks are brought out to the front panel. In the case of RGB fan cases, there is also a front panel controller for switching light modes.
What’s left is the retail prices. These range from 75 to 95 EUR. The cheapest is the case without illuminated fans with two metal side panels, the most expensive are naturally the variants with ARGB LEDs.
English translation and edit by Jozef Dudáš