UK price (as reviewed): £79.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A
This is the first Kolink case to come through our lab, and anyone would be right to have their suspicions about a relatively unknown company that focuses on the extreme low-end of the case market; a number of its offerings dip down below £40. However, on paper, the Phalanx appears to offer quite a bit for its modest asking price, so it's maybe not instantly consigned to our imaginary cheap, forgettable, generic pile of cases just yet.
For starters, the front panel has external strips of brushed aluminium, and the side panel isn't acrylic as you'd maybe expect at this price, but full-fat tempered glass held in place on rear hinges and front thumbscrews. Admittedly, a more expensive case may well use magnets here for a cleaner look, but the panel gaps are kept to a minimum, so visually, at least, build quality appears to be solid.
It's not surprising to see a lack of USB Type-C ports on the front panel; that would be asking too much and likely result in heavy compromises at this price, but you do get a trio of Type-A ports including a single USB 3.0 port as well as a control button for the RGB-enabled fans.
The weight betrays a relatively light construction, but it certainly doesn't feel tinny and there's no hint of a rattle or loose fittings. In fact, it reminds us of low-end Lian Li Lancool and Corsair cases, albeit with a front section that can't quite decide whether it wants to be closed off or offer high airflow.
Kolink hasn't missed any of the essentials either, with removable dust filters covering the roof and PSU, although the front section simply has a fixed dense mesh instead, which should still help trap most nasties that would otherwise end up inside. That said, the holes here are larger than your typical dust filter; the problem is that making the filter too dense would reduce the impact of the RGB fans behind it, which as you can see below do look rather lovely. We wouldn't go as far as saying this is a complete failure on the side of dust protection, but we do have some concerns about dust ingress over time. A slide-out mechanism for the PSU filter would also be appreciated.
October 15 2020 | 14:00