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Video CES: IN WIN Displays Costly but Beautiful Computer Cases (Video) 141

This video shows a computer case that's "pretty expensive," says Timothy Lord. "It's over $300. On the other hand, it is beautiful." The manufacturer, Taiwan-based IN WIN, has put a $399 MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) tag on their top-of-the-line "limited edition" computer cases. Wow. Most of us probably won't buy one of these, considering that low-cost mid-tower cases can be had for $30, and the entire computer used to edit this video cost $399 (with the addition of some RAM and a better video card). But there is a market for Lamborghinis, and there is a market for computer cases that cost as much as a complete low-end computer. And CES (annoying sounds if you click the link) is a great place to look at them even if you don't really need a computer case that costs more than a minimum wage worker's entire weekly paycheck.

Timothy Lord: Over the last several years, I have been moving more and more to laptops instead of conventional desktop PCs. But that is not true for everyone. Sometimes you need a bigger power supply, bigger hard drive, whatever, whatever reason it is that drives you to have a conventional desktop case. So the ones here range everything from ludicrously huge to vanishingly small. I just got a pretty good look at a case that is not either one of those extremes but it is pretty expensive. It is over $300. On the other hand, it is beautiful.

Sarah Lien: I am Sarah and I just got here. And if you don’t mind, I can give you a little introduction about the D-Frame.

Timothy: Okay great. What are we looking at here, right next to you? We’ve got an interesting pile of parts. And then we have got a case.

Sarah: Yes. I guess once when people get here, they can see the first part is a disassembled case, and they can play with the case, we know. But the cool thing is that we want to let the users build their case by themselves, from zero to completely 100 percent. As you can see, there are some components, but after that we will give you the toolsets, and the side panel glasses, and then you can build it like this.

Timothy: Tell me a little bit about the actual components that are in this case.

Sarah: The actual what?

Timothy: The components.

Sarah: Oh the components? So it is like, we got it with – actually we make all the material as aluminum pipe so that we can easily just install them. And then as you can see there is a shake-proof stand, so that when it is at the bottom, you can actually prevent it from shaking. So that is the most important part. And as you can see, there is a glass side panel, so that you can show off your equipment inside, that is a cool thing. And from here you can see, it is adjustable power supply holder, so after you screw it out, it can move actually, so that you can just fit any other size of power supply.

Timothy: Okay. And it doesn’t come with any of the components in here, you are supplying your own mother board and other accessories?

Sarah: No. It is just this thing.

Timothy: Okay. Now what will this retail for?

Sarah: What?

Timothy: What will this sell for?

Sarah: It sells for like crazy user and actually the MSRP is like $399.

Timothy: Okay. Will this be available worldwide?

Sarah: It will be available for at least Q2.

Timothy: Okay. And are these going to be limited edition?

Sarah: The important thing is that it’s limited edition. Actually there are only 500 pieces globally. And we are going to have an orange edition and there is a red edition as you can see.

Timothy: Looks like they have plenty of airflow.

Sarah: Yeah. Right. Especially it is open air cases, so even without fan, you will have a great remote solution.

Timothy: I see this one is quiet even though you’ve got three pretty big fans down there.

Sarah: Exactly.

Timothy: You can run it nice and quiet that way.

Sarah: Yeah. Right.

Timothy: Sarah, thank you very much. Is there anything else that you want to tell me about these cases?

Sarah: Thank you. No I think that will be all. But you will like to have one. This is really cool. And it makes you a big space so you can upgrade any equipment you want. So that we want to introduce. This is In Win. Thank you.

Timothy: Thanks very much.

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CES: IN WIN Displays Costly but Beautiful Computer Cases (Video)

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  • by coldsalmon ( 946941 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @05:40PM (#42562241)

    More like a Lamborghini replica kit. It looks cool (or horrible, depending on your aesthetics), but it doesn't actually help you go faster.

    • I think they mean, to quote the saleswoman herself "This sell for like crazy user." Personally, I might believe her, because I'm not sure that case provides an effective faraday cage, which should be the first thing you look for in a case. If you are crazy though, you clearly wouldn't care about that.
      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        Faraday cage? Please this isn't 1990 with a bleeding EF power supplies, and mobos.

  • The reason they make hugely expensive computer cases is not so they will sell a lot of them. The reason is that they want to manipulate people into thinking paying more is sensible. So, by advertising very high prices they may sneakily get people to pay $50 when before they would only pay $35.

    Here in the U.S. there is a big effort to do that with food.
    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      For even $50 can you get a decent case?

      I mean aluminum not steel, and no sharp edges, at least full ATX. I last bought one 14 years ago and it cost about $50 then.

      • I don't think you can get a decent aluminum case for $100... I've built my last few computers in some of Antec's more entry level cases, and they're still $60-$100. But as you say, no sharp edges and generally great to work in.
      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        Out of aluminum? Maybe from Lian Li, but the price has gone up and I think their cheapest cases are going for around $70-80/pop these days for their decent mid-tower cases and you don't have to worry about sharp edges or anything. A bunch of their stuff is on clearance right now now too, so you can get some pretty good discounts. Otherwise cooler master if you don't mind steel cases, they round out all the edges and nothing is sharp. Even on their cheapest cases.

      • by sconeu ( 64226 )

        It's steel, not aluminum, but I just bought an Antec 300 for about $50. Top and back fans, 9 bays, Midsize ATX. Black. No annoying windows or lights.

    • The reason they make hugely expensive computer cases is not so they will sell a lot of them. The reason is that they want to manipulate people into thinking paying more is sensible. So, by advertising very high prices they may sneakily get people to pay $50 when before they would only pay $35.

      Here in the U.S. there is a big effort to do that with food.

      So by that token then you're saying that paying all that money for iPads and iPhones is sneaky? I mean Apple is very, very profitable so they must be overpricing their products yet people are standing in line to buy them. That's sneaky. I

      As for food, let's see there's a lot more people on the planet, there's drought in the US where most of the food is produced, that would seem to be a problem of supply and demand problem, while a fact of economics I think it has little to do with being sneaky, that is un

  • "I'm hawking some crappy overpriced gadgets. You've probably never heard of them..."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "I'm hawking some crappy overpriced gadgets. You've probably never heard of them..."

      Apple iPhones?

  • These are going to clash with the existing furniture. Got anything in wood in the mission style, cherry stain?
  • Reusable... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jythie ( 914043 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @05:42PM (#42562261)
    I am actually a bit surprised people are not willing to pay more for cases, since it is one of the few parts in a computer that can be reused after many upgrades.
    • Exactly. I've had a Thermaltake Armor for the past 6-7 years and have had multiple components swapped out. Though the case is a bit on the heavy side, the reusable dust filters, easy to access drive bays, and spaciousness have made it worthwhile.
      • Ditto. I have an Antec Solo that I've used for 3 upgrades now, and maybe had it 6 years also.

        It serves me well. It has 4 external 5-1/4" bays that I only use 1 for a DVD drive... the other 3 have 3-1/2" disks in them. And it has 4 internal 3-1/2" drive bays with disks and 2 slow speed 80mm cooling fans right in front of them. Antec put a washable filter in front of those intake fans. I've put a slow moving 120mm fan at the back and the power supply fan, also 120mm, makes it all super quiet.

        The case is thic

    • I think this looks like a pretty terrible one. First, I'm not looking for an Ikea case. if I build it myself, I expect it to be customizable -- I should be able to piece together various parts like an erector set to build something unique and perfect for the parts I put inside, not have only a single design. What's the point?

      Second, an open-air case sounds like a bad idea. There's going to be no control over airflow here so despite what the woman in the video says, I think cooling will probably actually be

      • by dow ( 7718 )

        I thought that with my last case purchase, a Corsair 800D. I do love the case but now I'm thinking I would quite like to attend a LAN event or two at some point, and this thing is huge and weighs a ton. Just taking it out to the workshop to blast the dust out a few times a year is enough to make me think an aluminium or even plastic case might be a better idea. Maybe something slightly smaller too. It does look the part sitting under the desk mind, and has brilliant cable management and has to be the easies

    • Seriously, I bought a Cooler Master Wave Master Quiet Ultra Pro, or some other ridiculously named contraption, in 2003 for $150 and it's the only piece of hardware still going.

      That said, it's on its last legs as video cards are too big and hot to be as cramped as they are in this case, so I'm going to get the Level 10 GT [] and run that til its wheels fall off.

      The case also, at least for gaming PCs, helps a lot with temperature management.

    • Cases are important. I can't stand the cheap cases, and would rather spend a bit more money for a case that is easier to maintain, and won't slice my hand open every time I need to do something inside the case.
    • by unitron ( 5733 )

      I am actually a bit surprised people are not willing to pay more for cases, since it is one of the few parts in a computer that can be reused after many upgrades.

      Remember the original Slot 1 ATX boards?

      No sooner did a lot of tower cases with lots of 5.25" external bays get sold then they went back to sockets and added a couple more inches of depth to the boards and you couldn't flush mount cd decks and mobile hard drive racks anymore.

      Spending big on a case is just begging them to change something and obsolete them again.

    • My vote goes to monitors.

      I know people who will pay $400+ for a video card, and then buy a crappy TN panel display on sale for $130. I can't even look at TN panels due to the viewing angle being so narrow, it causes a stereographic effect that makes my eyes blur. Seeing how a display is something that you look at all day and will probably not replace for 8 years, I've always wondered why there's so many cheap, horrible displays on the market.

      • by adolf ( 21054 )

        ...because the market buys cheap, horrible displays, so that's what it supplies.

        It's not a new problem; it goes waaay back.

        I find it hard to generalize TN panels like that. I've seen some that are quite horrible, and some that are quite OK, and neither age not manufacturing date seems to have much to do with how it actually looks in normal use.

        That said, you can have my IPS-paneled NEC 2090UXi when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

  • It's pretty, but completely impractical, it's literally wide open, you can't create a significant air flow and it might filter your air better than a hepa filter right before it overheats your components from the dust, but as I said it does look cool... just needs some finishing touches from somebody who understands a thing or about computer building. Also those pipes would be 10x cooler if they supported water cooling. Might as well right?

    For $399 I can easily get a full tower that has everything I jus
    • You can do a lot better with a wide open case [] (it's a 6cm cube if you wonder about size) for a sweet ARM 4-core 1.7-2.0GHz machine. This kind of gear used to cost over $800 early last year, this one [] is $89, or after including 64GB disk and other "optional" components, shipping, etc, $226. And instead of RasPi's ~$100 toy, you get a fully capable, perfectly quiet computer.

      Crap, the above paragraph makes me sound like a shill :p

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yuck. My opinion is that it's over $300 and ugly. There really haven't been good cases made since IBM's PS/2 line, which was carefully thought out to be easily opened using a nickel and one's hands. It also had internal moldings to channel air to the right places and foam on the inside of case to deaden noise.

  • Beautiful?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lluc ( 703772 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @05:51PM (#42562333)
    A beautiful case is one that is small enough to escape notice, quiet enough so that is is effectively silent, or well engineered enough to allow easy construction or 10 hard drive bays in a small volume. How many people really want a bright orange monstrosity on or under their desk that screams, "LOVE CHILD OF A COMPUTER AND AN ERECTOR SET!!"?
    • by pixelpusher220 ( 529617 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @06:05PM (#42562469)

      How many people really want a bright orange monstrosity on or under their desk that screams, "LOVE CHILD OF A COMPUTER AND AN ERECTOR SET!!"?

      Don't ask questions you don't want the answer to...

    • Amen, I'll stick with Silverstone cases - minimalistic design, well engineered, and quiet. Why do enthusiast cases have to be lit up like christmas trees or look like they came out of some teenage mutant ninja turtles cartoon. Efficient and functional design in and of itself can be beautiful.

    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      It is ugly and badly designed. This is a case for people who like bicycle parts who have absolutely no knowledge about computers.

      The open air design along with all those fans means it will be loud and it will have horrible air flow.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        No, it doesn't. I swear to god I'm going to start a skeptic podcast that just deals with computer bullshit people like you spout.

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )
      Which brands/models have the quietest cases ? Something with vibration absorbent materials at the base and all the attachement points, internal sound-proofing foam, fans with angled outtakes... I've had the same high-end case for 13 years and it would be the only reason to make me change.
  • by hypergreatthing ( 254983 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @05:54PM (#42562365)

    From a person who builds his computers still from components instead of ordering from prebuilt systems, I used to buy the lowest cost cases. After many a times where the cases were made shoddy, sharp edges, bays that had screw holes that didn't line up, etc, i opted to try out the more expensive cases (70-120$) and boy was i impressed. Anyone who's had to deal with the no brand name cases, and then put together a antec p182 or antec 900 is in a world of difference. Cable management, fan filters, vibration gromits, extra airflow from properly designed and positioned case fans, etc. Not to mention they use thumbscrews as much as possible, are pleasing to look at, come with extra cables. My own p183 came with a special ssd bay when ssds were just started to be made and getting popular.
    Sure it's a niche market and artsy cases aren't usually worth it, but don't knock well made cases that are reasonable until you actually put together computers and experience the difference.

    • by klui ( 457783 )

      Antec's support is great, too. I didn't have a 3.5" drive bracket for a case I purchased from my friend. I emailed them about how I may purchase one and support basically told me to go down to their office and they'll give me the part for free. They also threw in a bunch of rails, extra screws, grommets, and other brackets.

      Guess what brand of case I will buy next?

    • vibration gromits

      That's a hell of an idea; if you could just get 'em to vibrate 180deg out of phase with... oh, did you mean anti-vibration? :)

    • Yes. Yes they do. Computer construction is usually a one off event for nearly all users out there. Sharp edges, screws which don't line up are issues that plague you for half an hour and then never again until the next computer.

      People refuse to spend $100 on things which plague their lives every day or every week. Don't underestimate how cheap people in general are.

    • No, now I buy used cases cheap.

      My only big problem is rails. My last machine was in a Logisys X-Blade (yes, that old.) I contacted them and they sent me an assortment of rails for ten bucks. My current case is a Thermaltake Shark. I contacted them and they told me they could not send me trays for love nor money. So now I'll never buy anything from Thermaltake again, because I know they don't support their older hardware. They have an online store for selling spares, but they don't make parts for old cases i

  • Transparent looks cool for a couple weeks untill the fuzz starts getting in everything. Then you find out what "detailing" the inside of a computer really means. It's not long before you just want a basic nice looking [] case back.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm still waiting for a decent small form factor case.

    The PC industry is still putting out these huge ugly boxes. Even the Mini ITX cases are cumbersome ugly boxes.

    Frankly, it disgusts me that WIntel companies haven't followed Apple more. Small, sleek, minimize the wires(size and quantity).

    Nobody needs 5 or 10 expansion bays anymore, everything is on the motherboard. Shrink the PSU, use a big, slow, quiet fan and put it all into a small sleek case!

    • by dreold ( 827386 )
      Take a look at the LianLi Q25B [] or the Bitfenix Prodigy []

      I have used both and am quite impressed.
      The Bitfenix is a bit "cheaper" feeling than the LianLi, but better for CPUs needing better cooling.

      Agree on the PSU, though.

  • Boring designs, doesn't look like anything special,only one that caught my eye was the metal tube 'd-frame' design. Most of them are generic enough looking huge ATX towers. Still I wouldn't want to let someone into my house and tell them 'yea dude, like I spend $400 on a fucking case for a computer'. Now if I made a similar case myself out of metal tubes for my own mini-itx machine, that is something I could be proud of. Splashing out on a mass produced case like that from Taiwan is nothing but shameless ex
  • It's four hundred dollars.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sarah: It sells for like crazy user and actually the MSRP is like $399.

    I thought it was funny that she said it was only for people who are crazy. In other words, they have too much money on their hands.

  • While we're on the subject of cases, does anyone have any recommendations for an inexpensive, small mini-itx case with good cooling that can hold five (or more) 3.5" disks and a 2.5" disk?

    I like the LIAN LI PC-Q25B, but at $120 (without a power supply), it's more than I wanted to spend.

    I don't care so much about looks, but I'd like it to be as small as possible (so don't want a Micro-ATX case).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Check out the Fractal Design Node 304 []. Newegg has them for $89. It can holds 6 3.5" disks, a double slot video card and a tower CPU cooler. It doesn't really have a dedicated 2.5" slot but I would think you could stash it somewhere with some double sided foam tape.

    • by Lluc ( 703772 )
      Do you have a recommendation for a mini-itx motherboard that supports ECC? I'm starting to think about building something like this myself (several HDs, raidZ, small, quiet). I'm debating whether I want ECC memory and/or a PCI-e card with SATA ports.
  • They should have put one of those in the video instead of that ugly orange thing.
    I have a Cooler Master Haf X full Tower that came with a 1 KW power supply and 3 or 4 10 inch variable speed fans, clever wire routing grommets and accessibility options to get at both sides of the motherboard, front side USBs, card readers, external sata connectors and enough plugs and wiring to hook up every accessory you could think of, all for less than the cost of that case. And it's also not ugly.
  • This post is horrendous. Apart from plugging in several links that fail any notability test, the case is not notable either as there are much cooler and much more expensive cases around, the video is cropped to oblivion and player controls don't fit in the video frame either. If only I could fathom why did I waste another minute on commenting???
  • by citizenr ( 871508 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @06:08PM (#42562519) Homepage
  • Is it me or is everything that is posted by Roblimo recently a bloody commercial including pricetags and manufacturer links? Might be just me, but I sure hope this isn't product placement.
  • I can't see the video (why slashdot has to use its own not working for me, flash player instead of youtube, who knows) and from the other posters, it sounds like its just flashy. However there is much to be said for putting down a few hundred for a good case.

    About 7 years ago I purchased an thermaltake armor fulltower case ( [] ) to replace my then aging and not enough drive bay 90s era full tower. This was probably the best decision with regards

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      It does. However, it's from people who are into a particular look or style. So for a specialty case, yes its worth it. Will you like it? too subjective.

  • I don't think wow! is really the comment one can make. Lian-Li has made (and still does make) many of it's full tower computer cases with MSRPs $100-$200 more than this.

    Anyone who thinks that this is somehow special, or thinks that the price will prevent it from being a major hit is quite out of touch with the gaming community.

    • Very true. I only recently migrated from a 10-year-old PC-75. What did I replace it with? Another Lian-Li. I wish I could get ahold of a sweet case from Abee [], but I don't want to go through a buyer service to get it from Japan.
  • It's nice and all, but they just need to bring back their Q500 Full tower case.. that's the stuff that late 90s builds were made of.. Built my first personal system with one..

  • I'd bet money that a Lamborghini has gotten SOMEONE laid.
  • Tried to look at their website, but with all that loading, blinking and moving stuff 14 seconds was all I could endure.

  • by wcrowe ( 94389 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @06:37PM (#42562775)

    Yes, they are expensive, but the bits processed by these cases are warmer. True computerophiles can detect this.

  • I am very pleased to see some good case design. I really like having a case that is fun to look at. (The odd thing with non-computer types is if they see a really snazzy case, they assume you've got some sort of super computer under the hood!) This one is a little interesting, but I don't think it is $400 worth. Myself, I recently got a lot of bang for the buck modding some NZXT Phantom cases. They've already got a very nice sci-fi design and look like props from Mass Effect. They are $90 shipped [] at TigerDi

  • This is probably the best case I've ever purchased: []

    Too bad it's discontinued :(

  • Interviewer: And uh and.. how many are.. are these.. are these going to be.. a limited edition?
    Company Rep: Oh! The important thing is that it's limited edition ..

  • It's just over half the price of my Mountain Mods case. "Expensive" is relative, I suppose. []
  • How on earth would they expect this to pass any RF or safety tests?

  • Looks like a roll-over cage for a computer. Handy if your computer crashes.

  • I've seen water-cooling and phase-change cooling cases go for more than 399 USD. Also, open air cases while nice looking make sounds eve louder, and directed airflow hard.
  • Orange? Whoa. Fortunately, the case should be easy enough to strip down for a re-spray.

  • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

    90% of the cases on that slashvertisement site looked like a bunch of 90's fugly rejects... and the flash, gah, make it stop.

    I wouldn't pay $40 for one of those.

  • ...otherwise I'd never be able to get it home in my Lamborghini.

  • I hope Balmer is paying attention. There's a real marketing opportunity for him here. He can hire this woman to do a commercial. I can see it now in my mind's eye, and it's beautiful:

    Windows 8. It's for the crazy user!

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.