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In-Win 901 Review

In-Win 901 Review

Manufacturer: In-Win
UK: £149.99 (inc VAT)
US: $179.99 (ex TAX)

We praised the design of the In-Win 904 in our original review, and were thus excited to hear that In-Win also had a mini-ITX version of the chassis planned. Seeing the 901 for the first time, it doesn't disappoint, as the design looks even better with smaller dimensions. It comprises a 4mm thick sheet of brushed aluminium and two tempered glass side panels – it's quite something to look at, and is a design in a class of its own in a world typically full of black steel and plastic boxes. The single aluminium sheet flows with attractive curved edges around case, uninterrupted except for the rear detachable panel, as well as front LED logo and the rubber feet, which help it grip your desk or floor.

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Despite the abundance of aluminium, the thickness of it means that the 901 is still fairly hefty. The build quality of the metal is simply outstanding with no bend or wobble whatsoever. Of course, on the other hand, there's the glass panels, and though these are tempered and thus stronger than your average bit of glass, you'll still need to use extra care when handling them, as the sign on the panel itself dictates.

The aforementioned rear panel is released via four thumbscrews that are fixed to the panel for ease of use and so you can't lose them. The panel consists of mesh as well as larger cutout holes. The mesh provides an area of airflow for the rear 92mm fan mount found on the case's inner wall. This fan mount is empty by default; in fact, like its bigger brother, the 901 ships with zero fans.

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The bigger holes on the rear are where you'll thread the connectors through to reach your motherboard's I/O panel. This may prove rather inconvenient if you're frequently plugging in and unplugging equipment here, but it's at least an effective way of partially shielding the ugly mass of cables and connectors here from view. Thanks to some special adaptor screws, you're also able to mount 120mm radiator all-in-one liquid coolers to the outside of this rear panel, using the large holes to feed the tubing through. However, this will obviously spoil the case's sleek exterior, so we can't see it being a popular choice.

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As with the 904, there's a spacious cutaway section through the case at the front. As well as livening up the aesthetic, this area allows cool air to enter the case from the front – either drawn in naturally by CPU and GPU fans inside, or pushed in by a 120mm fan that you can choose to install. This fan is installed into a slide out bracket, which is released by a single thumbscrew. It's easy to do but does necessitate the removal of both side panels (one to install the fan, the other to pull through its power cable). There's also a dust filter fitted to the inlet that uses powerful magnets to attach itself.

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Click to enlarge - In the cutaway section is an optical drive bay cover (left) and a fan filter for the 120mm fan mount (right)

Inside this cutaway section is also a pull out cover for the case's single slimline optical disk drive mount, which is front facing and has an EZ Swap panel so you only need to slot the drive into place and connect the panel's internal cables before it's ready to go. The cutaway section is large enough so as to not block tray-loaded ODD drives from fully opening, but slot loaded drives would certainly be a better fit for the case's aesthetic.

Finally, on the left hand side of the case, just above the edge of the cutaway, is the front I/O panel. It's a basic but functional design with two USB 3 ports and the regular dual audio jacks as well as the 901's very subtle power button.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 173 x 400 x 350 (W x D x H)
  • Material Aluminium, tempered glass
  • Available colours Silver
  • Weight 9kg
  • Front panel Power, 2 x USB 3, stereo, microphone
  • Drive bays 1 x external slimline optical, 2 x internal 3.5in/2.5in, 2 x internal 2.5in
  • Form factor(s) Mini-ITX
  • Cooling 1 x 120mm bottom fan mount, 1 x 92mm rear fan mount (fans not included)
  • CPU cooler clearance 130mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 300mm
  • Extras ODD EZ Swap connector, 2 x SATA EZ Swap connectors, magnetic dust filter