The first system case from InWin I am going to discuss today comes under the unassuming name of IW-PE689. Like Ascot’s 6ZRX, this is not as memorable as other makers’ Centurions, Elites, Cyclones, Elements, etc. Perhaps the system case itself is far more impressive than its name?
The exterior design isn't original, though. It can be described as practical and classic. The appearance of the IW-PE689 is somewhat enlivened by the unusual shape of the front vent grid, the smooth and glossy edging of the front and the protrusion with vent holes on the side panel.
This design is going to be appropriate in any environment, both home and office. The front panel represents an eye-pleasing diversion from the standard meshed design.
A manufacturer logo might have made an eye-catching element on the faceplate of the bottom 5.25-inch bay, but InWin saved on it. Instead of a bulging metallized sticker there is just a small silver-painted speck.
The front panel isn’t very functional. The buttons are okay (the Reset is much smaller than the Power button but can be pressed with a finger) whereas the connectors are limited to only two USB 2.0 ports (placed close to each other, so it can be difficult to use them both simultaneously) and two audio sockets (headphones and microphone).
Placed below the buttons, the Power and HDD indicators don't add much beauty to the system case. The blue light of the Power indicator is too intensive when you are looking directly at it, but does not irritate the eye otherwise.
We’ve got a bare minimum of accessories here. You won’t even find a user manual among them. There is just a sealed pack of fasteners without a single spare piece and a mains cord for the power supply. No extras like cable straps or a PC speaker.
The side and front panels can be removed easily. The side one is fastened with a pair of plastic locks but you can also fasten it with screws if necessary.
The other side panel is fastened with ordinary screws. You’ll need a screwdriver to take it off.
It’s also easy to take off the decorative face panel. You only have to release the three plastic locks to do that.
It is at this step that I was disappointed with this system case. Its single preinstalled fan is located at the back and exhausts the air from the inside whereas the empty front fan seat portends harsh conditions for HDDs you install into the rack behind. Therefore I had to install an additional front fan in there for my tests, just to avoid burning my WD Raptor disks.
The IW-PE689 stands on low feet which are made of robust and elastic vibration-absorbing rubber.
This is the only system case in this review to have a case-open sensor which may come in handy at serious organization but not at home.