While personal tastes obviously differ, we really like the sharp lines and angles on this chassis. The mesh-covered grooves on both sides are the only features breaking up the otherwise smooth exterior. On the front there's the Bitfenix logo, under a row of five externally accessible 5.25-inch spaces. One of them can be transformed with the included bracket into a 3.5-inch space, for a card reader or a fan controller.
The top has the frontal connections. Like the Bitfenix Raider, this Shinobi XL has four USB 3.0 ports. They are connected via internal headers. The fifth, yellow-coloured USB port stands out. It's not a true USB port, but a loading station that is connected with a SATA connector. Bitfenix likes to call this a SuperCharge Port, that can provide up to 2.5 A for charging mobile appliances, which is more than enough for tablets. The top of the chassis has a lot of mesh, behind the front connectors. We like this more than for example the recently reviewed Corsair Carbide 300R. Contrary to the Carbide 300R, the combination of large outtake fan and grill will keep the dust out.
The back of the chassis explains the XL part of the Bitfenix Shinobi XL, with no fewer than nine cover plates for the expansion slots. You can see a 120 mm fan in a spot that could also take a 140 mm fan. We would have preferred seeing a 140 mm fan, which really doesn't cost that much more. At the top of the backside there are four holes for the water cooling. It's also possible to install two radiators in this chassis, one in the top panel, and one in place of the hard drive rack. The front panel can be removed without any screws, although you do have to use some force.