At $139 the case is priced the same as its sibling, the Node 304. Whilst both are good for different purposes, this pricing model means that you can decide between the two based on what you need and not your budget if you like the Fractal Design look. The $139 is above average for a mini ITX case but not at the top end. The build quality and feature list make the Define Nano S well priced and good value for the money but not ‘cheap’.
If you’re looking to build an ITX NAS to sit on a shelf and house an array of disks, this is not the right case and the Node 304 (that can hold up to 6×3.5″ drives) is a much better option.
This case doesn’t have the same storage capabilities as the Node 304 or Core 500 ITX options but it will handle 3xSSDs and a mechanical hard drive plus a full sized graphics card. You can build a decent gaming build inside the Nano S with little to no compromises on component selection. There are 2 mounting points for 240mm (the front mounts go up to 280mm) radiators and you could easily have an AIO water cooler like the Kelvin Series for the CPU and a hybrid or straight water cooled graphics card like the AMD R9 Fury in the same ITX case if you didn’t want to go custom water cooling. The cooling options are vast.
As the testing period went on, I appreciated the portability of the Define Nano S more as I’ve needed to shift it from desk to desk in the lab and even set it up in the lounge a few times. The balance of the case when fully loaded is also really good and it isn’t front-end heavy like the full sized Define R5.
Whilst I liked the Core 500 for its versatility and the Node 304 for its minimalistic design and small footprint, the Define Nano S is the most appealing case from Fractal design in the ITX form factor due to the unmatched airflow, low audio profile and aesthetic design. The case window and cable routing space mean that you can build and show off a really neat rig.
|Fractal Design Define Nano S|
|Can fit up to a 315mm graphics card
Spacious and easy to build in or upgrade
Extensive air and water cooling options with fantastic airflow potential
Great aesthetic design
Deceptively spacious inside
|– Not out in white (yet? We live in hope that a white one is coming)|