[section_title title=Closer Look – Exterior]
Closer Look – Exterior
Lets start with the front of the chassis. The front is one piece of brushed aluminium which has a small cut out on the top of it that serves for a slot loading optical drive. Unlike some of the other small cases that we have looked at (the Lian Li that I recently reviewed comes to mind) this does not have a front door, which would give access to optical drives, so a slot loading drive is your only option.
From an aesthetics perspective, the W1 is a very good looking case, very Lian Li-esque which I have no doubt will draw in the buyers and the anodised black finish is gorgeous. Behind this front panel is a 140mm intake fan. All of the hard drive cages are attached to the front of the chassis via screws which means that they can easily be removed. I applaud Cooltek for this as I much prefer seeing this solution to rivets.
The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that there were no switches on the front of the case at all. The switches are found on the right hand side of the side panel, at the bottom by the front foot. Starting from the top there are two 3.5 mm audio jacks for a microphone and headset, below those, the smaller button is a reset switch and the larger, a power button. These illuminate blue thanks to an LED ring around both of them. Lastly we have two USB 3.0 ports which are wired up to an internal header.
The back of the case is very similar to the Bit Fenix offerings that we have seen recently. We have a large 140mm fan at the back forming an exhaust. This sits directly above the IO cut out for the motherboard. To the right of the fan we have a couple of water cooling hose grommets for any external solutions that you may want to use and below that a couple of PCI expansion slot covers. At the bottom we have a PSU cut out. Just above the W1 sticker on the left hand side of the rear of the case, we have a fan speed switch, more on that later.
Remember previously when I mentioned the small fan controller above the W1 sticker? Well here it is. It’s a three step controller which acts from lowest and the bottom to highest at the top, 5v, 7v and 12v respectively. We will have a look at how it is laid out inside the case later on.
On the top of the case we have a very large ventilated area. This whole roof panel, unlike most cases, is totally removable. This allows the user to easily install any 120mm fans or radiators that they wish to use in the roof. It also uses the same beautiful black anodized brushed aluminium finish that we find throughout the rest of the case exterior. (Please note that the roof section only supports the use of 120mm fans)
A quick look at the bottom of the case shows that there is a good sized dust filter for the power supply’s air intake. You may also be able to make out the dual SSD mounts which are all suspended off the bottom of the chassis by small rubber grommets. The case also comes with four large rubber feet which would help with reducing any vibrations from components such as optical drives or hard drives.