This budget mid-tower offering from In Win is highly reminiscent of the company’s own 301 that we looked at a couple of months ago. That’s no bad thing, as the 301 proved to be a capable micro-ATX tower. Despite being bigger thanks to its support for ATX motherboards, the 101 is actually a little cheaper at just shy of £65.
The 101 manages to be a black box without being boring, at least to our eyes. The clear logo section on the front panel is lit by red LEDs on our black sample or blue ones with the white version. The tinted tempered glass side panel keeps things very sleek there, while the hexagonal mesh on the right adds interest to an otherwise plain panel. Clean lines and sharp angles dominate the exterior, which keeps things feeling fresh and modern.
Initial build quality impressions are good thanks to a near-total absence of plastic on the exterior – rare indeed for a case of this calibre – and the steel and glass hold up well under pressure. It even has little bits of rubber on the underside.
You get dual USB 3.0 ports and the usual pair of audio jacks embedded in the roof, where they should be easy to reach with the case on the desk or the floor. The bottom section of the clear plastic bit at the front is actually a disguised power button – press it downwards to activate. This adds to the case’s neatness, although there’s no reset button at all.
Despite looking like a rather sealed off case, the 101 actually has an abundance of 120mm fan mounts: two on the right side, three on the underside, and one at the rear. Unfortunately, none of these are filled out of the box, so you’ll effectively be relying on the PSU’s ability to exhaust air (it sits above the CPU cooler in this design) and your GPU’s ability to draw in air through the heavily ventilated lower section. It’s an approach that clearly helps In Win keeps costs down and the same one it took with the 301, but how drastically it affects performance in this larger case remains to be seen.
The bottom section is guarded by a full-length dust filter that pulls out neatly to the left side – more easier than the rear, especially given its length. The side ventilation, meanwhile, is not given the same protection, but the design here is at least less porous than the bottom, and In Win suggests using these mounts as exhausts anyway - there are internal fan ducts to better guide air out the vents as well.
July 1 2020 | 17:34