David Murphy Nov 20, 2013

Enermax Coenus ECA3290A-G Review

At A Glance

Chubby Bunny

Mostly tool-free installation; plenty of options for cable management; long front-panel connection wires.

Cinnamon Challenge

Wont win any beauty contests; little space between video card and drive bays in 3.5-inch mode.

Great case, but what the heck is a Coenus?

It’s easy to dismiss Enermax ’s new Coenus line of computer cases the moment you lay eyes on the gunmetal-gray ECA3290A-G. It’s a tiny Pomeranian of a case—only microATX and ATX motherboards need apply—and it feels every bit as flimsy to hold as its front panel and bulky top are goofy-looking.

The Coenus features a nifty drive bay that converts in size.

The Coenus case might look like something you’d find warming the bargain bin at your local computer store, but its insides are far more satisfying. In fact, there’s not much about this case’s functionality that irks us at its $70 asking price.

Enermax wisely gives system builders easy access to the case’s three screwless 5.25-inch bays via removable covers on the case’s front. Popping off the front panel to access the case’s preinstalled, red 12cm fan requires just a good tug from the bottom—we’d likely then move this fan to blast air over the case’s three 3.5-inch bays (or install a second 12cm fan) instead of its four 2.5-inch “SSD” bays.

In fact, you might wonder why Enermax even bothers to include so much support for SSDs. Does the company really expect a typical desktop builder to max out expensive storage in a $70 case?

Maybe not: Remove two thumbscrews and you can slide back the leftmost wall of the 2.5-inch bays to convert them into extra 3.5-inch bays. We love the little trick—as much as we appreciate the handful of drive rails Enermax provides for tool-free installations—even though the conversion reduced the space between the bays and our Nvidia GTX 480 card to nearly nothing.

Thankfully, Enermax provides four holes on the motherboard tray for all your cable routing needs, including a giant cutout behind the general area of your CPU that greatly eases the process of installing an aftermarket cooler. You get around 3cm of space between the tray and the case’s side panel—plenty of room to string cables hither and yon.

The wires for the case’s front-panel connections—two USB 3.0 ports, HD audio, and the usual wires for the power button, reset button, and power LED—come stretched nearly to the case’s rear in their default configuration. Which is to say that Enermax gives you plenty to work with if you want to play with your system’s cable-routing setup. Two rubberized holes on the case’s rear tempt those of you looking to liquid-cool your rig, and the case itself supports a two-bay radiator on top, thanks to predrilled holes for two 12cm or 14cm fans.

$70, www.enermaxusa.com


Enermax Coenus ECA3290A-G

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