bit-tech.net

In Win 904 Review

In Win 904 Review

Manufacturer:In Win
UK Price (as reviewed): £149.99 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): £279.99 (Ex. Tax)

The average case we review her at bit-tech is usually worth considering. With typical steel-built ATX cases the products have been refined over so many decades that there are only so many ways a decent branded product can go wrong - we are of course not talking about the countless no-name cases that still take up a huge proportion of the market but we'd be here forever if we tried to review all those. However, while there are few terrible cases on the market today, even the good ones can often be a bit bland.

One company that regularly tries to add a bit of pizazz into its case designs is In Win. Most of its regular cases have not, shall we say, been to European or US tastes, with their sci-fi-esque bits of added plastic. However, recently the company has caught our eye with a a few seriously stylish cases.

The first of these was the In Win Tou, which combined a hefty aluminium frame with a complete covering of mirrored glass panels. It was heavy, expensive and not to everyone's taste but it sure stood out in a good way.

Now In Win is back with the In Win 904, another case that incorporates glass but here the design is much more universally appealing, as is the price. The 904 retails for £150, which although not cheap, is considerably less than the £650 Tou and, in the overall scheme of things, isn't hugely expensive for a high-end tower case.

In Win 904 Review In Win 904 Review
Click to enlarge

The In Win 904 really is a stunning case - possibly one of the finest we've ever seen in fact. Where the Tou was a bit garish the 904 just oozes class. Here, the exterior is made from both brushed aluminium and tempered glass, while the latter, which makes up the entirety of the case's side panels, is more a smoked colour rather than mirrored as with the Tou.

Perhaps even more eye-catching than the glass, though, is the single piece of aluminium that wraps around to comprise the front, top and bottom of the case. We've heard from SilverStone that one reason why some of its Temjin series cases are so costly (TJ07, TJ11) is that they use a single piece of curved aluminium, and so combined with the smoked glass panels it's almost surprising In Win isn't charging more for the 904.

In Win 904 Review In Win 904 Review
Click to enlarge

To be brutally honest, those side panels are pretty scary. Glass is both heavy and of course can break, making removal of them a nerve racking experience. What's more, despite the case being made predominantly from aluminium, those glass panels bring the combined weight up to over 12kg, which is around 50% heavier than your average ATX case.

Thankfully, the mounts for the panels - similar to those on the Tou - are very secure with each panel resting on four rubber-surrounded screws and fixed with a heavy thumb nut. Even with the nuts off the panel is still reasonably secure thanks to the grip of the rubber, though of course you should never rely on this for any extended period.

The sides are also where most of the action is as far as ports and buttons are concerned, with the front panel devoid of any drive bays or switches. The location of the four USB 3.0 ports, mini jacks and power button isn't likely to win the 904 many friends, especially if you have your PC on the floor, but it's certainly in keeping with its minimalist sleek style. The power button is pretty interesting too. the power logo is simply printed on to a long flexible section of plastic, that bends at one end, allowing the power button to be depressed.

In Win 904 Review In Win 904 Review
Click to enlarge

Of course, the other missing feature when it comes to that clean front section is the optical drive bay, and this is where the 904's third striking feature comes in. Instead of ruining the case's curves with an unsightly 5.25in bay, In Win has moved this to the bottom and back of the case, leaving an opening at the front of the case for the drive's tray to open into. It's an ingenious system that not only succeeds in making the front of the case far more appealing but by cleverly incorporating the opening into the overall design the hole itself becomes an attractive feature too. And if you don't use an optical drive the hole makes for a convenient place to store your SD cards and... er, pencils?

In Win 904 Review In Win 904 Review
Click to enlarge

Elsewhere, there are no visible exterior fan mounts except one 92mm slot at the rear, but even this is located on a recessed piece of aluminium, with the rear of the case just showing an oversized grille and slots for cables.

Overall, the 904 is certainly not lacking in build quality and despite what impression you might have gotten from the photos, it's not large either, measuring a square 490m x 490mm in height and depth and a mere 192mm in width.

In Win 904 Review In Win 904 Review
Click to enlarge

Specifications
  • Dimensions (mm) 192 x 490 x 490(W x D x H)
  • Material Aluminium, glass
  • Available colours Silver
  • Weight 12.5kg
  • Front panel Power, 4 x USB 3, stereo, microphone,
  • Drive bays 3 x 3.5in/2.5in, 2 x 2.5in, 5.25in external
  • Form factor(s)ATX, micro-atx, mini-ITX
  • Cooling 1 x 140mm base fan mount (fan not included), 1 x 92mm rear fan mount (fan not included)
  • CPU cooler clearance 145mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 360mm
  • Maximum PSU length 180mm
  • Extras front fan filter, EPS12V and 24-pin ATX extentions