Jonsbo/Cooltek W2 Tempered Glass Panel Case Upgrade Review

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Jonsbo/Cooltek W2 Tempered Glass Panel Case Upgrade Review 11

Introduction

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Make: Jonsbo / Cooltek
Model: COOLTEK W2 TEMPERED GLASS KIT
Price: €44 inc. UK delivery (at time of review)

I have owned the Jonsbo / Cooltek W2 windowed case for a couple of years and I absolutely love the dual compartment cube style setup.

older-image-with-original-panel

As time went on the window started to look dated and I was seriously considering upgrading my case. Then while at a LAN party, bleary eyed and browsing some news having got up early with snoring gamers all around, a tempered glass upgrade product was announced for the W2.

This made me happy as it was a rare opportunity for a case to be further supported so long after release. These days, many case manufacturers have started to replace models more quickly with fresh designs.

Emailing Cooltek in Germany to ask about ordering the upgrade, I was incredibly surprised to receive a response within 5 minutes, on a Saturday! After a little email chat I pre-ordered the upgrade, which was a month away from actual launch, for the very reasonable price of around 44 Euros delivered.

Contact was made through the company’s EU website http://www.jonsbo.eu/en/ the company has recently brought the main brand name to the EU market dropping the Cooltek name.

During my agonising wait for the panel to be released, I got a few emails describing possible difficulties with the upgrade, that it was more complex than just a panel swap and I may have to drill.  This awoke my modding monster and I eagerly egged them on to let me have the panel even without a manual.

A few days before delivery I received links to some unpublished YouTube videos which appeared to come straight from the factory, showing a technician performing the upgrade.

Finally the panel arrived, looking rather striking. The glass is quite thick at 5mm and feels very sturdy, the tint is quite dark and is well polished without any blemishes.

the-panel-kit

Included in the package are: The tempered glass panel, two cushioning insulation strips and a bag of fittings.

Installation: Preparation

It was a few days before I could get around to doing my panel upgrade, due to a certain case & watercooling upgrade for a friend. Build Party Link

Starting the upgrade I set about preparing for drilling out the rivets. I was quite confident with this procedure as I have recently done something similar to replace the front door speakers in my car.

build-before-panelLet’s get everything out of the case, just in case any swarf gets generated in the drilling process.

parts-removedIn the above image you can also see the original plastic windowed side panel, this will unfortunately be unusable without some modification after the upgrade is complete. (edit. Or will it?)

It’s Drilling time!

First peel off the old insulation tape, make sure its just the top and bottom, Cooltek have only supplied replacements for those two strips.

peel-away-insulationHere you can see the rivets used in the original mounting system that need to be drilled out.

rivet-to-drill-outI ventured outdoors to do the rivet removal, and as I expected a swarf storm was whipped up throwing fragments of rivet in and around the case.

first-fitting-drilled-outdrilling-done-swarf

As you can see attempting this with the components in place would have been catastrophic, there was quite a lot of swarf debris from the drilling. It is also not necessary to take out the fitting in the middle at the top, this will be unused and will not affect fitting the new glass panel.

The case required quite a lot of cleaning, I used an air duster, a paint brush I keep for dusting and both damp and dry cloths for the cleaning. It took longer than expected, I kept finding fragments.

thoroughly-cleanedNow back to assembling the panel components and rebuilding my rig.

Installation: Assembly

Putting the plates and bolts into the four mounting locations was a little fiddly, especially at the top of the case, as there is another metal ridge behind the mounting area, restricting the amount of space to hold the nuts in place. After a few minutes and some colourful language I got the plates installed.

plates-and-boltsThen carefully stick on the new cushioning insulation strips.

new-insulation-fittedNow the glass can be test fitted before rebuilding the PC.

fitting-glassThe whole thing just looks amazing, it’s quite the upgrade giving a premium finish.  The tint on the glass is very well done, allowing you to show off your components in a stylish manner.

completed-side-panel-upgrade-w2

Conclusion

I had lots of fun upgrading my case, the look and quality of the case has been greatly improved for quite a modest cost, which is just over a quarter of the cost of buying the new revision of the case.

The upgrade is not for the faint hearted however and cannot be rushed. It can be accomplished in one evening with the main time consuming parts being the post drilling case cleaning and rebuilding your components.

Initially I was going to score against the package not including foam strips to cover all remaining mounting clips, as these are visible through the glass. It did dawn on me however that by removing the four corner connectors from the old panel you could still attach it to the case using the four remaining connectors, which will involve cutting, possibly using a rotary tool such as a Dremel, as the connectors are welded to the panel. I am unsure whether this possibility is by design or a happy coincidence.

The parts are prepared to a high standard and the glass has been milled with precision.

Overall a highly recommended upgrade if you are not afraid to take power tools to your precious case. The end result though, speaks for itself.

awards-design

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

Pros:
- Gorgeous upgrade to an already attractive case.
- 5mm Thick Tempered Glass, high quality finish.
- Priced quite well considering the premium look.

Cons:
- Only people with a tendency to mod cases need apply.
- Changes the mounting setup requiring modification of the old panel if it is to be reused.

4.3

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