Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Once In Win got past some of the more mundane and near childish case designs that they released in the past, the ball was set rolling ever since. Their whole approach now is to be "contemporary and innovative" and at the same time mixing art and technology to deliver some of the most unique cases we have ever seen. Even though the chassis we are going to provide an in-depth look at today is not something out of the box like the Tou 2.0, the D-Frame 2.0 or the X-Frame 2.0. That does not mean that In Win is not trying to innovate, even if confined within the cubic style chassis which they are helping us present.
Classified by In Win as a Mini-Tower chassis, the latest case to hit the labs takes a square design to the extreme. The most important aspect of this case is that it is compact, and while one might assume that also means you lack modularity and room, this is not the truth at all. In Win has chosen to use thicker steel to build the chassis making it nearly strong enough to stand on, and is the first chassis we have seen with a tempered glass side panel which requires no screws or grommets. To be blunt, no matter where you glance at this new chassis, you are going to see something that In Win has either been the first to show, or is something done in a way which eases the build and usage of this case over the long haul.
The chassis we are on about is the In Win 301 Mini-Tower chassis. At first, one may think; great, another boxy case for smaller systems. In reality, all you need to do is look at the 301 to realize there is more afoot than one would expect. There is much to discuss and cover with the In Win 301, so even though it is compact in nature; there are surprises at every turn. The 301 is taking In Win into a new realm of chassis design, and raises the bar as to what to expect from them in the future. At this time, however, we feel that the In Win 302 Mini-Tower chassis is not only a top contender for smaller system builds, but it is a chassis in which many will build a new system, just to have the pleasure of using this case.
The In Win 301 comes in two color choices. The first is to get the chassis painted black and to accompany it, the entire front I/O panel is illuminated with red LEDs. The other option is to get a version which is painted white, and the I/O panel has blue LEDs to illuminate it. This chassis is a Mini-Tower capable of housing a Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX motherboard, made from SECC steel and tempered glass. The glass on the chassis is found on the left side, it is tinted, and has a dot matrix painted on a couple of edges to block out the view of the frame. The frame of the chassis is made of steel, which is painted inside and out, but it is also 1.2mm in thickness to give the 301 a very robust feel and heft to this chassis.
At the back of the chassis there are four expansion slots, and on the inside, there is room for 330mm worth of video cards, and also 158mm or clearance for CPU air coolers. The front I/O panel consists of a nameplate, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD Audio jacks, with the power and reset button above all of that. Storage in this chassis is limited. There is a single drive tray which can house either a 3.5" or 2.5" drive, and built onto that cage is an additional location to hang a 2.5" drive off the bottom of it. The power supply is mounted at the top of this chassis and does have restrictions to where it can only be 160mm in length. All told, all of this can be found inside of a chassis that is 365mm tall, 188mm wide, and 370mm deep.
Cooling is not as robust as one may expect, but the offerings here are sufficient. The front of the 301 has a removable plate which will allow for a pair of 120mm fans to be attached, and can also be a location used for liquid cooling. The rear of the case has a single fan location for a 120mm fan and can again be used to support water cooling. The bottom of the chassis will take on another pair of 120mm fans, but doing so will limit the number of cards to be placed inside. As for liquid cooling support, it is possible, but it will eliminate any ability to use a video card.
With such a sturdy design and the implementation of a new way of attaching a tempered glass side panel, we would expect the price of the 301 to be high. However, looking online for pricing, we are shocked to see the pricing we did. While Amazon does not show any stock of either version of the 301, Newegg is on point and offers both the black and the white cases. It is there that we see that this In Win 301 is listed for only $69.99. While the white one does mention that this is a sale price, the black version sells all day long at this price.
For what you get, not only in style and layout, the sturdiness of this chassis is a leap above many on the market, and if you have plans for a Mini-ITX or Micro-ATX build in your future, the In Win 301 is worth serious consideration to house your goods inside of it.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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