We received the Carbide Air 540 in a simple, brown cardboard box, the shape of which clearly betrays the form of the case. An exploded schematic of the case can be seen on the cardboard box. Inside it, the case is well protected between polystyrene foam pieces and wrapped inside a large black synthetic cloth bag.
The bundle of the Carbide Air 540 looks disappointing at first, as only a simple manual, a few screws and a few small cable ties are supplied with the case. However, as we will see in the following pages, this case features an almost entirely tool-less design, which explains the lack of too much hardware. A few quality cable straps or even a case sticker would definitely be nice though.
Out of the box, it goes without saying that the Carbide Air 540 does not look much like any typical tower case. With a lot of imagination, one could say that it looks like a very wide version of a mini tower case. Despite its proportions however, it is not much shorter than a tower case, measuring 41.5cm tall, yet definitely much wider and deep enough to house even the longest GFX cards and eATX motherboards available today. Corsair went with a full satin black color, which you can never go wrong with.
The faceplate of the Air 540 is unique, with the left half covered by a large vent and the right half housing the 5.25” bays and the I/O buttons and ports. A dust filter is hidden behind the vent and there is a badge with the company logo at the exact center of it. At this point we should mention that this case has no external 3.5” bay.
The filter hidden beneath the vent is very fine and is held into place with powerful magnets. Once the vent covers have been detached, the filter can be removed by simply pulling it off, cleaning it and then placing it back into place.
The front I/O ports and buttons of the Carbide Air 540 are fairly typical. From right to the left we have two USB 3.0 ports, the standard headphone jacks, a square power-on button, a HDD activity LED and an orthogonal reset button.