Lian Li TU150 Review

August 22, 2019 | 17:30

Tags: #case #sff #small-form-factor

Companies: #lian-li

Manufacturer: Lian Li

UK price (as reviewed): £109.99 (inc. VAT) (TBC)

US price (as reviewed): MSRP $109 (exc. tax)

Lian Li has deservedly earned itself a sterling reputation when it comes to case manufacturers, focusing on solid build quality and practical features. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with the Razer-enhanced PC-O11 Dyanamic earlier this year, but now the company is back with a case that has had small form factor enthusiasts salivating since it was shown off first at CES 2019 and then at Computex 2019. Now, finally, it is launching, and we’re pleased to say its been worth the wait.

The TU150 is technically a mini-DTX chassis, meaning it also supports mini-ITX motherboards, and, most excitingly, that it will also fit Asus’ upcoming X570-based Impact. Its 203mm x 375mm x 312mm (W x D x H) dimensions make it a true small form factor chassis, and it’s one that’s truly portable thanks to a nifty retractable handle on the roof. While ‘seamless’ isn’t quite the right word to describe it in the down position, it does blend in rather nicely, and it’s extremely easy to pull out. It’s not at all awkward to carry the TU150 around, and a 15kg weight rating is enough to cover any conceivable setup.

Lian Li and aluminium is a match made in heaven, and the TU150 continues to show that. The roof, front, and right side are each covered by a 1.5mm-thick aluminium panel. The subtle brushed effect looks great and is achieved using a water wash technique. With these panels joined by a 3mm-thick tempered glass panel on the left side, build quality here lives up to Lian Li’s reputation. The only real exception is that when you open and close the handle, a part of the case rattles quite obviously whenever it clunks into place. We weren’t able to identify exactly where this was coming from, and it was more obvious with the panels off, but we’d definitely prefer it to not happen at all. Luckily, even with three with fans running at full speed during our thermal testing, there was no perceivable rattle, so it shouldn't be an issue day to day.

The front panel is neatly recessed and suitably equipped for a modern chassis. The regular pair of USB 3.0 ports (USB 3.1 Gen 1) are joined by a full-speed USB 3.1 Type-C port (USB 3.1 Gen 2). Lian Li has gone with separate audio jacks rather than a combined one; we still prefer this approach, but it’s not a big deal either way given the easy availability of adaptors.

The chassis is supplied without any fans. It is by no means a case designed for passive cooling, so unless you’re using relatively low-power hardware with excellent cooling installed as well, you’ll need to factor in the cost of a few fans. We’ve tested the case in a few different airflow configurations so you can get an idea of what might be right for you. Fan support is limited to 120mm models only, and inside you’ll find four such mounts: one up front, two in the base, and one at the rear, with this latter one also capable of supporting basic all-in-one coolers.

For airflow, Lian Li is banking on the ventilated angled sides of the front panel as well as the gap underneath this panel, and any lower fans will be able to draw air in directly through the bottom panel. The right side panel is also perforated for PSU exhaust airflow.

While the front fan mount is shielded by its own plastic filter, the bottom is sinfully left without one. As this panel is made from steel, a simple magnetic filter would have done the job perfectly. We’re honestly very surprised Lian Li has overlooked this; even if you don’t install fans here, you can expect your graphics card’s fans to draw in air and dust through the bottom, and we recommend sourcing your own filter for this area. Clearance for airflow is provided by the four rubber-tipped feet.

Finally, a quick look at the back shows us that the rear fan mount has flexible mounting struts rather than fixed position holes. We also see a full three expansion slots, which is basically a necessity these days given how many cards exceed dual-slot dimensions.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 203 x 375 x 312 (W x D x H)
  • Material Aluminium, steel, tempered glass
  • Available colours Black, silver
  • Weight TBC
  • Front panel Power, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, headphone, microphone
  • Drive bays 1 x 3.5"/2.5", 1 x 2.5"
  • Form factor(s) Mini-DTX, mini-ITX
  • Cooling 1 x 120mm front fan mount, 1 x 120mm rear fan mount, 2 x 120mm bottom fan mounts (fans not included)
  • CPU cooler clearance 165mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 320mm
  • Extras Removable dust filter, integrated carry handle


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