Manufacturer:Ikonik UK Price (as reviewed): £285 (inc. VAT) MSRP US Price (as reviewed): $340 (ex. Tax) MSRP
Here at bit-tech we love new ideas and innovation, liking nothing more than a new product that brings something genuinely new to the enthusiast market. Sadly though the world of PC enclosures has remained disappointingly free of new ideas for the last few years with manufacturers choosing to polish and update old designs or reinvent old brands rather than producing anything truly new and innovative.
It’s a shame really, as we find it hard to believe we’ve reach the feature set limit of the humble PC case, with only occasional minor updates like the Cooler Master Sniper’s LED controls adding something genuinely new and radical new ideas like Antec’s Skeleton missing the mark.
However, there’s hope yet and today we’re looking at a chassis which boasts one of the most novel additions to modern cases we’ve ever seen – the RA-X10 from Ikonik. You’re unlikely to have heard of the brand before, a recent Taiwanese start-up which is only now starting to ship stock into Europe, but the pedigree is certainly there with several ex-members of Gigabyte’s chassis design team on board.
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The RA-X10 is Ikonik’s flagship aluminium case and the company is clearly hoping that it brings enough innovation and quality to draw business away from the more established case manufacturers. With that in mind let’s take a look at the RA X10 SIM and find out just what makes it so unique.
As first impressions go the RA X10 certainly starts well, with a very large overall chassis approaching the dimensions of the mammoth Cooler Master ATCS 840 that’s clearly going to offer enough room for even the most ambitious of system builds. The large side panels are both made of high quality well reinforced brushed black aluminium and both sport meshed ventilation sections, with the left hand panel boasting a large window shaped mesh divided by plastic trim and the right hand panel fitted with two long thin meshed opening to compliment the case’s unique cooling layout – but more on that later.
In a unique addition, Ikonik has also chosen to include two sections of Perspex panelling which can replace the large meshed sections on the left hand side panel to create a large case window for those looking to show off their system. The meshed sections are easily removed by unfastening a dozen or so screws, with the Perspex panels just as easily replacing them – a great feature that means you can choose whether to have a meshed or windowed side panel.
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While the side panelling might be good, the rest of the Ikonik’s exterior doesn’t hold up so well with the roof and fascia both made of what must be the nastiest plastic we’ve come across in our experience. While it’s sufficiently solid and hard wearing much the RA X10’s plastic trim has been finished in a mock leather or faux snake skin effect which looks utterly out of place alongside the beautiful brushed aluminium.
The RA X10’s plastic panelling also falls foul of that all too common flaw among cases that heavily mix metal and plastic construction of clear gaps between panels where they meet. On our review sample the most notable gap was between the meeting between the roof and front fascia panel where a gap of 2mm opened up, but there are other slightly gaps between many of the plastic panelling. On a cheaper case we’d likely let such a problem slide but the RA X10 is squarely aimed at the premium end of the market, and the exterior build quality is a some way off that of the ATCS 840 – the benchmark for cases at this sort of price.