So there we have it, the In Win Tou, one of the craziest and most impressive looking chassis we have ever had the pleasure of reviewing and it has certainly been a lot of fun to work with. It makes an impressive statement and also makes for quite the spectacle too, but the big question is, should you buy one?
The chassis is far from perfect (although come to think of it there are none that truly are perfect) and it has a few flaws that could put some people off, while others would just embrace them. The first and most obvious one to me is the price, it’s £625 and no matter what way you look at it, that is a rather huge number for a PC case. Yet that price is what it is for good reason, we’ve got tempered glass, and lots of it! A sand cast aluminium frame and a heck of a lot of hand made components that have been well crafted and bolted together, this thing was not stamped out on a production line, it was crafted and you can’t put a price on that kind of quality. Aside from the materials being expensive, it is also well designed, it is highly exclusive with only a few hundred being produced (as far as I know), the one we have for review is actually the Special Edition #2, I guess In Win are keeping #1 to them selves.
Maintenance could turn into a small nightmare if you don’t keep up with it, this is not an air filtered case and if you have a dusty environment then you’re going to be reaching for the microfibre cloth often. While dust obviously has implications on the performance of some components such as cooling fans, it could really ruin the visuals of this beautiful PC case, because lets face it, you’ll want to keep it sparkling! On a plus note though, you can easily remove any one of the glass panels and this makes them easy to clean on both sides.
There is also a fear of breaking it, while the glass is incredibly strong, it’s still prone to chipping, especially around the weaker corners and edges. Of course a little care and attention goes a long way, but you do feel aware that your lifting a fully loaded glass box that “if” dropped, may be hard to replace.
OK that is it, as far as I am concerned there are no other down sides, but I do have a great list of benefits of owning this chassis. First of all has to be the design, flat out it is one of the greatest looking chassis I have ever seen. With the lights out it’s a mirrored marvel that conceals the system inside it, but power up the lights and it becomes translucent just as all your components come to life, it feels like an unveiling every time you power it up. It’s also a great presentation case, I imaging manufacturers using these to show off their new motherboards or any shiny internal component.
The touch panel feels really cool too, it isn’t something you really see on the PC chassis market yet and it feels modern and sleek to operate. Having the built in fan controller, light controller and even a demo “breathing” light effect is a nice touch and they all compliment the chassis well.
Bragging rights is another benefit too, it’s a show in its own right and the response we’ve seen around this chassis at trade shows just proves that, people can’t stop taking pictures of it and if In Win were creating this as a publicity stunt to show what they can do, it certainly appears to be working for them.
- Glass and aluminium construction really stand out.
- The lighting effect is impressive.
- Hard drive shelves look really cool.
- Build quality as well as the level of engineering is incredible.
- Price is high, although it is easy to see why.
- Dust could quickly become a problem if you don’t keep up with maintenance.
- There is always that fear that you may break it (even though it is actually incredibly strong).
“I could easily award editors choice just on my own personal appreciation for the Tou, but I highly expect this chassis doesn’t even need an award to show people how great it is, or even how great it can be, it does that all by its self. I am however happy to award it our Innovation Award and while there isn’t really anything overly innovative on it other than the choice of materials, the Innovation Award really goes to In Win for pushing the limits of design and doing something different to everyone else.”
Thank you to In Win for supplying this review sample.