Introduction: The Elements of (Life)Style
A visually striking mini-ITX tower enclosure
If this review began by describing this mini-ITX enclosure's all metal and glass construction, its rounded corners, and the premium price tag, it might easily start to sound like it came from that company in Cupertino. Come to think of it, this case would look right at home in a lifestyle magazine photo shoot…
Living the IN WIN 901 lifestyle?
The 901 is definitely stylish, and this is in keeping with the design philosophy of a company that promotes the aesthetics of products first and foremost. So where does this design merge with functionality? This question is a fundamental part of industrial design (ID as it's known in the industry), and in our look at this striking enclosure we'll see how much substance there is to go along with all of that IN WIN style.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Computer cases are a personal thing, which is why we hesitate to make recommendations in this area. Within a certain price point there might be dozens of options for just about any need. But whether or not you're a fan of the sleek styling of a product like the 901, it's different beyond that first impression. The case starts with an aluminum quasi-unibody construction with tempered glass panels on both sides. There is a rather complex structure within this simple exterior, but it is well organized with some thoughtful (and some really smart) design choices.
IN WIN says the 901 mini-ITX case is an example of “precision craftsmanship with no compromises”, and an initial inspection would leave one hard pressed to disagree. It's apparent that some serious engineering has gone into this enclosure, and there is a high level of quality befitting something with this price tag. At $179.99 this is geared toward the high-end enthusiast community, and even a smaller subset considering it is only compatible with mini-ITX motherboards. And while mini-ITX is the supported form-factor, this is definitely not a SFF case. In fact, it’s almost big enough to be a micro-ATX enclosure, but this isn't a complaint. The size of the 901 allows it a unique internal layout.
Our thanks to IN WIN for providing the 901 for review today!
From IN WIN:
“In Win 901 is built to achieve perfect balance between aesthetic design and superior functionality in a Mini ITX chassis.
The stunning minimalism exterior and innovative interior layout are engineered precisely to the most exacting performance standards.
901 accommodates 200mm power supply, and 300mm high-end graphic cards. It supports 120mm external mounted liquid cooling radiator, and CPU heatsink up to 130mm.”
Material: 4mm/1.6mm Aluminum, Tempered Glass
External Drive Bay: Slim ODD x 1 (Includes SATA EZ-Swap Module)
Internal Drive Bay: 3.5” / 2.5” x 2 (Includes SATA EZ-Swap Module) 2.5” x 2
M/B Form Factor: Mini-ITX
Power Supply: ATX12V, PSII and EPS (Up to 200mm)
I/O Port: USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio
I/O Expansion Slot: Full Height PCI-E Slot x 2 (Up to 300mm)
Thermal Solution Support:
– 90mm Rear Fan x 1
– 120mm Bottom Fan x 1
– 120mm Liquid Cooling Radiator
– CPU heatsink up to 130mm
Dimensions (HxWxD): 350 x 173 x 400mm (13.8” x 6.8” x 15.7”)
Packaging and First Impressions
The 901 comes in a rather nondescript box, and once open you'll see some very thick foam packing protecting the enclosure, which is itself protected from scratches by a black cloth bag.
Rounding out the package we have the hardware and manual, both of which are more deluxe than usual for an enclosure. The manual is very descriptive, with color photos and a good build walkthrough. The hardware is divided up in separate sealed bags – once for each different type of screw! (Made finding everything extremely easy during the build process.)
Once removed, we see the 901 in all of its aluminum and glass glory:
Next we'll take a closer look at this enclosure.