Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Lian Li has made some very notable cases over the years and equally a few not so great ones along the journey. Today we are looking at something that could turn out to be the rightful successor to the now-aging Mini-ITX entry from Lian Li. The TU100 which we looked at back in 2013. That case scored relatively well as it simply did not have the capabilities and features even possible at the time compared to what is offered today. Today we get to look at the TU150 from Lian Li.
The TU150, much like the TU100 is a Mini-ITX in a style of what would be called a 'LAN Box.' A LAN box is a miniature portable rig which in some cases employed a handle for more comfortable transport. The TU150 similar to the TU100 applies a handle, however where the TU100 used to have a solid handle which folded over, the TU150 recesses creating a much cleaner final top appearance.
The TU150 has some cool features, one being the ball and socket connection system for the exterior panels. This allows for easy removal and reinstallation of the panels for cleaning or system maintenance. Also, the use of a tempered glass main panel means a modern internal aesthetic along with proper masking to hide internal cabling. Another neat cable management trick is that Lian Li allows the top panel where the handle recesses to hide wiring as well.
The TU150 carries a part number of TU150WX which denotes that our model has a window 'W' and is black 'X.' If we had the black version without window, it would be TU150X. Now the TU150 also comes as an optional silver color which would change the suffix from 'X' to 'A.' The TU150 come in at 312mm height, 375mm depth, and 203mm width. This is quite a compact chassis, and it is designed to be as tiny as possible while offering a robust platform for a mini gaming rig.
The motherboard fitment is Mini-ITX or DTX compatible. DTX is probably a less common one for most as it's an ITX model but longer. HDD and SSD fitment is up to 2x 2.5" SSD's or 1x 3.5" and a 2.5" SSD. There is no PSU shroud as the PSU is moved to the top right of the chassis and is hidden from view by black internal masking on the window. PSU fitment is SFX or SFX-L, standard ATX PSU's do not apply as there is not enough room for it.
Cooling fitment, of course, will be somewhat limited. Fan fitment is all 120mm based with a filtered opening on the front and one on the rear. There are also dual-fan ports on the bottom of the chassis which could help with overall system cooling and evacuating heat from around a high power GPU. Radiator fitment is limited to the rear-mounted 120mm. GPU Length is limited to 320mm and CPU cooler should you opt for air cooling would be 165mm, which is somewhat surprising being the compact nature of the case. One thing to keep in mind is the TU150 while being an impressive case, it comes with no fans, so it truly is a DIY build with you as the builder keeping in mind and budget some room for fans.
The TU150 comes to market with an MSRP of $109.99, which places it in very interesting territory. The original TU100 is still apparently available and comes in at $119 which is astonishing considering the age of the chassis. Other competitors in the range are finite as trying to match features such as a handle and tempered glass, and we quickly find a lack of options.
One case that sort of matches although a much different form factor would be the SilverStone Milo ML08, but that is more of a console-sized enclosure with no windows for component viewing. Another two options would be the Phanteks Evolv Shift or even the NZXT H210 non 'i' version. I can say that the TU150 is genuinely a bit unique as it is hard to find a genuinely parallel competitor so we will have to take those as our litmus test.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix Z390-i (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB CMW32GX4M4C3000C15(buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: SilverStone SX700-LPT Platinum 700W SFX-L (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)