Fractal releases new Era ITX PC case with slatted wood panel

When I asked for more wood-paneled PC cases, I didn’t realize we’d be getting another one so soon; on Wednesday, Gaming PC case maker Fractal announced Its next two smaller form-factor cases, one of which includes a slatted wood panel – but it’s also expanding its product line to include gaming chairs and gaming headsets for the first time.

Its first gaming chair, the Refine, looks closer to Herman Miller than Secretlab. But its mesh seatback is tall like a traditional gaming chair, and it has the same ergonomic features found in modern, high-end office and gaming chairs.


Two variants of Fractal’s Refine desk chair.
Image: Fractal

It has adjustable lower back (lumbar) support, head cushion, and 4D armrests, or armrests that have four points of adjustment: height, rotation, forward/backward, and closer or farther from your body. The chair can recline and lock into 13 different positions, and if you don’t like sitting against mesh fabric, there’s also a solid, padded fabric version.

Refine will be available worldwide this summer in five variations: a light or dark mesh fabric, a light or dark solid fabric, and a dark Alcantara FabricThe standard version will cost $549.99, which is the same as rivals’ high-end gaming chairs, but the Alcantara version is far more expensive at $899.99.

The most special thing about Fractal’s first gaming headset, the Scape, is that it includes a wireless charging stand. Most gaming headset companies sell a stand separately with the headset, but I appreciate that Fractal includes a stand with their headset because it takes away the guesswork of finding compatible 3rd-party devices.


Fractal Scape Gaming Headset.
Image: Fractal

Obviously, an included stand isn’t enough to make a purchase decision, since the quality of the drivers is what’s most important. (If we get this headset, we’ll let you know how they sound.) But the Scape headset does have some quality-of-life features, like a flip-to-mute detachable microphone.

It also supports connectivity via both Bluetooth 5.3 and low-latency dongles. Fractal didn’t explicitly say in its press release that it’s a 2.4GHz dongle, but that’s a common wireless option for gaming headsets. The company didn’t say anything about battery life either, but if it can last at least 30 hours to match something like the SteelSeries Arctis 7P Plus, that would be ideal.

Fractal’s first gaming headset will be available later this year for $199.99 in two colors: light and dark.


From top to bottom, the Era 2 looks stunning.
Image: Fractal

Fractal’s Era 2 is a redesign of its Era ITX case for small form-factor gaming PCs. Instead of a body made entirely of metal, the magnetic top panel is made of walnut and has more than a dozen cutouts for ventilation that span nearly the entire length. (The case is reminiscent of one of the manufacturer’s other wood-accented cases, Answer.) Fractal says this new design helps keep the case cooler than the original Era, which it still sells; it comes with either solid wood or tempered glass panels, and its ventilation is around its outside edges rather than inside the panels.

The Era 2 also has four additional sides with ventilation, and the rest of its paneling is made of anodized aluminum and slides on in one piece. It can also accommodate water cooling and graphics cards up to 12.8 inches (326 mm). Fractal didn’t say in its press release how wide GPUs it supports, nor how many liters it holds, but given that the previous Era supported dual-slot graphics cards up to 11.6 inches (295 mm), and had a volume of 16 liters, I’d be surprised if the new version didn’t do the same.

It will be available later this summer for $199.99 in three color options: silver, charcoal gray, and midnight blue.


Fractal Mood PC Case.
Image: Fractal

Fractal’s New Mood Matters It has a completely different vibe than the Era 2. It’s tall, wrapped in fabric, and doesn’t look at all like the stereotypical gaming desktop PC, but it does have some of the same design features as the Era 2. The fabric paneling slides off in one piece, and it accommodates graphics cards up to 12.8 inches (325 mm) in length. Again, Fractal didn’t specify the GPU’s thickness or the case’s liter volume in its press release.

There’s also a 180mm fan at the top of the case that pulls hot air up and out; based on my experience with similar PC cases and pre-builts in the past, the Mood should expel hot air just as effectively as a traditional case.

It will be available on June 18 for $149.99 in two colors: black and light gray.


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