Now that we have had the W1 on test for a little while lets see how it compared to the other ITX cases that we have had on test recently.
First off, and probably the most important part of the case, the looks. The W1 is certainly not lacking in this department. The first thought that I had when I first saw the W1 was that it was very Lian Li-esque, which in itself is not a bad thing as Lian Li make some of the best looking and most stylish cases on the market today. Whilst it is not one of the smaller cases currently on the market today, it is still relatively compact, and packs a lot of features which really does add to its appeal. Yes, Cooltek have decided to do away with the optical bays, which in my mind is a good thing. Personally I only use an external optical drive with my PC’s as I find that an internal one adds too much vibration and clutter to the case.
Cooltek have also managed to shoe horn four full size hard drives, as well as two SSD mounts, into this case which shows brilliant versatility and allows a massive amount of storage to be applied to such a small PC. The tool-less design of the panels was also a plus point. They were attached firmly enough to the chassis that they could not be accidentally knocked off or fall off when carried. Many people may have expected them to rattle around under vibration due to there being no thumbscrews used.However, Cooltek used some thin foam around the chassis where the panels sit up against it, so any rattle that may be incurred during use is totally silenced by this foam.
The removable roof panel is also a nice feature as it make the installation of components very easy, as well as allowing easy installation of fans and radiators to the case itself. Following on from the high quality that we saw from the U2, the W1 is another high quality aluminium chassis. when you pick up the case, you instantly recognise how light it is, then when you start to work with it, you realise just how much design and quality has gone into this product. It truly is a wonderful case to work with.
Performance on this case was good. In our temperature testing the W1 was able to keep up with, and in some cases beat, the offerings from BitFenix. The dual 140mm fans were able to shift a very good amount of air through the case which provided a very good level of cooling. I can only imagine that if we had installed two fans in the roof of this case as well, the temperatures would have been even better. The acoustics side of the testing was good as well, it was able to remain relatively silent under load and still provide a very strong cooling performance.
I would say that the only thing I can really mark this chassis down on is its price, as the only place I can find it for sale in the UK is from an eBay retailer for £92. This is a little steep for what most people are going to be willing to pay for an ITX case. If you’ll remember previously, I reviewed a similar case from Lian Li which was priced around the £110 mark which received 3.5 for value. The Cooltek suffers in the price area, but you get the same benefits as you would from Lian Li, which is exceptional build quality as well as a gorgeous looking product.
In conclusion, this case has the potential to the perfect case for whatever you intend to use it for, whether that be as a file server or a compact gaming rig, it has all the bases covered. Cooltek have managed to produce another beautiful case with the W1 and really are rivals to Lian Li in the aluminium case market. If this case were a little cheaper, then I would have no quarrels giving it our Editors choice award. However, it is just a little to high in price for me, but it does totally deserve its Performance and Design awards.
I would like to thank Cooltek for giving us this sample to review and will look forward to seeing more from them in the future.
From the word go, it was obvious that the Cooltek W1 was oozing with style and quality. The brushed aluminium finish is simply sublime, team this with a generally good aesthetic and solid performance and you are onto a winner. The major plus for me was that the side panels and the roof are removable and completely tool-less, which makes for easy installation and quick access. I would definitely recommend the Cooltek W1 to anyone wanted a powerful yet small form factor machine.
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