Back in June we visited In-Win's factory in Taiwan to see how it made its steel PC enclosures. From this trip we also got early images of its upcoming Wavy mini-ITX case and the cute and elegantly designed small form factor box was promptly jumped upon by several of our readers requesting a review.
Unfortunately, according to our strict rules for engaging into a review, a full review requires a price to yield a value score, which means the product has to be sold or easily obtainable within the UK. After all, nothing is more frustrating than spending your time reading about a product you couldn't buy anyway! In-Win has yet to seal a UK distributor for this item, however since interesting and attractive mini-ITX cases are few and far between, curiosity has got the better of us, so we've just taken a quick look at the Wavy mini-ITX case to see what it's like.
Well, it started out as a quick look, but soon turned into a full scale build, and here's what we found.
Strong lines for a Wavy case
On the outside the Wavy looks chunkier than a mini-ITX case should be, especially the front, but that doesn't mean it's a bad design. In fact, we like the strong linear front and contrasting gloss on matt detail on the sides. The front panel is chunky for a reason though - it not only stealthily hides the optical drive and front panel connectors behind two separate doors, it also cunningly integrates the power button in there too. It is really rather neat, but we'd prefer the LEDs to be somewhat more diffuse rather than those that give us free laser eye surgery.
Unfortunately the quality of plastic and hinges for the doors leave a lot to be desired. The thin, bendy plastic and extremely flimsy hinges certainly won't last long and require a gentle touch. They are not child or Harry proof, that's for sure.
The chassis can support up to two half height cards, as well as either a full size DVD drive or a slimline one - In-Win helpfully provides an adapter for both in the box. Included is also a specific spot for a 3.5 inch hard drive sitting on its side up against the chassis wall, and another can be fitted above the motherboard on the same bracket as the slimline optical drive. That's your choice though: full size optical and one hard disk, or potentially two disks and a slimline DVD drive.