Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
Removing the oversized black grocery bag allowed me to gasp in shock and awe of the entire case. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but actually seeing and touching this case is worth over nine thousand. The brushed aluminum and tinted tempered glass sides are just screaming premium. The cool touch of the metal is also something very nice to my hands. The aluminum also wraps around the entire body from top to bottom. This is a single piece of aluminum, with only the backside coming off for easier access to your input/output ports. The aluminum varies in thickness, but for majority of the case, it is four millimeters. The glass on both sides also measure in at a similar thickness.
Overall, the In Win 904 Plus is unlike any case I have seen before. The design still resembles a computer case for the most part, but it is completed in an unprecedented way. There is simplicity and minimalism in the styling. Gone are the gaming flashes of color or random vents protruding from the oddest places, and instead there is just pure class. Normally, I would say the manufacturer should be completely proud with the innovation in design and material, but it seems like R&D at In Win is all about coming up with wackier and more unthinkable designs. Take a quick look at their website, and you will definitely see computer cases you would never imagine. Either way, it is superb, and In Win should be happy with the way they have pushed their innovation pencils. I should mention the In Win 904 Plus precedes the original In Win 904, which came in a silver and black finish. The In Win 904 Plus also comes in silver and black, but I am more than happy with the black and red finish. The differences between the two will be covered in this review later on. However, as for aesthetics, I really cannot give it the due justice with my words. Thus I will leave a moment of silence.
After the moment of silence, I pulled out my measuring tape to get some quick dimensions. At a height of 490mm, a depth of 490mm and a width of 192mm, this case is not exactly oversized in any way. In fact, it is slimmer and not as deep compared to my previous case, the Fractal Design Core 3300. However it is a bit taller. When it comes to weight, the In Win 904 Plus really tips the scale at around 12.26kg, or around 27.02lbs. At almost five kilograms heavier than the Core 3300, this is no lightweight, but it is understandable considering the materials chosen for the 904 Plus. As a warning, once you put your components in the case itself, you will really feel the difference. Premium looks come at a price, and it seems to come at a weight, too.
On the left side of the case are the standard input/output ports, as well as the power button. Oddly enough, missing in action is the reset button, but I am not sure how many people often use this switch anyway. Going left to right, we have two USB 3.0 ports, microphone and headphone 3.5mm audio inputs, two more USB 3.0 ports, and the power button. There are also two more pinhole LEDs; one flashing yellow to notify hard drive activity, and the other glowing blue to indicate power status. It is great to see not only two, but four USB 3.0 ports, as many motherboards nowadays have multiple USB 3.0 headers. I should note the logo on the front of the case also lights up when you turn the case on. This makes the words "In Win" glow a bright white. Port placement on a case can be somewhat subjective, as it depends on where you put your computer tower. As I place my case on the floor, accessing these ports and inputs can be a bit tricky. Due to the glass panel, you may find some USB devices may not fit into the port. I tried plugging the Kingston MobileLite G3 card reader in, but the glass blocked it from fully inserting. Normal USB drives and external hard drives should not be affected, but if you have anything with a bit more material around the port, you may have a challenge on your hands. It would be nice for In Win to accommodate users with a bit more opening around the ports, but it is not too big of a deal. Finally, underneath this area is a large opening, where users actually can put their 5.25" optical drive. There is a metal cover in place with a thumbscrew, and removing it allows users to put their drive in. While in concept it is an interesting idea to still provide users with an optical drive slot, in practice there are a few caveats, but I will explain during my installation process.
Turning to the backside of the In Win 904 Plus, and we see more of the same polished product. The other side of the case is made up of the the same tinted and tempered glass. The four thumbscrews protrude out, but it is kept classy in the all-black finish. Unlike other cases, the grille on the back is not aligned with the back of the case. What I mean is the motherboard's I/O shield is not directly against the back of the rear panel. Rather, it is deeper into the case. Thus, the black grid-like back is meant primarily for looks. This metal back is also removable to allow users to plug their peripherals into the case. Users will need to wire their cables through the shield's bottom hole before connecting them to the motherboard's ports. Then they can place the shield back onto the back with the thumbscrews. While it keeps the cables neat and tidy, it also is kind of cumbersome to have to string all your cables through. Rather, it would be nice for the removable shield to have a cutout bottom, so users just need to align the wires to fit through the hole. At the very bottom of the back is the power supply opening. Unlike the original In Win 904, the Plus edition allows users to place a longer power supply, which is why the power supply now reaches all the way to the back.
Flipping the case onto its side, we can see the In Win 904 Plus' undercarriage, which brings up a few things to note. For one, rather than using four distinct feet, In Win has placed two horizontally oriented rubber bars to keep the 904 standing. This is a good idea, as the rubber reduces the vibration you may hear between the floor and the case. Secondly, there are a lack of holes. Most cases utilize some sort of opening and filter so the power supply can blow the air out and through the bottom. However, the In Win 904 Plus tells users a different story, so we will see their reasoning later when we look at the inside. Otherwise, the same brushed black aluminum is found on the bottom of the case. As it is time to look on the inside I will borrow my fellow editor Devin Chollak's words and say, let us "lift the skirt off" of this case to see what is inside.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion