Nathan Edwards Jul 17, 2008

In Win B2

At A Glance


Pivoting hard-drive bay, easy-to-remove side panels, two 12cm fans.


Tight fit inside case worsened by VGA cooling bracket; removable drive-rail tray.

In Win can’t resist building gimmicks into its chassis. We first encountered the company’s design oddities with its F430 case ( reviewed July 2008 ), which emits the superloud sound of a car engine when you hit the power button. The company’s B2 chassis isn’t quite as ostentatious—unless you think the motorized front panel that conceals the drive bays is over the top.

A side flap conceals the B2's front-panel connections: two eSATA, two USB, one FireWire port, and one HD/AC97 audio jack.

This midtower chassis does, however, take its B2 theme to extreme levels. The vent on the case’s snap-locking side panel looks just like a Stealth bomber and the case’s exterior is peppered with aeronautical jargon. We love the look, but working in this case is a different story.

A VGA cooling bracket with two attached 8cm fans runs along the side of the case. It pivots up and down to give you access to your rig’s insides but leaves little room for connecting additional power-supply cables to your videocard. Back-end connections similarly suffer, as this chassis is a bit cramped—heave and strain all you want, an oversized next-gen videocard isn’t going to fit in here.

Labeled drive rails sit on a tray in one of case’s four 5.25-inch bays. It’s great that the B2 doesn’t need any screws whatsoever, but we’d rather receive the rails in a bag to simplify installation. Also, the end of the tray sticks out a little too far. We had to remove it—by first removing the case’s side and front panels—before we could squeeze our motherboard into the chassis.

We appreciate the case’s features, including its support for up to five hard drives, superb air cooling, and luxurious front-panel connections, but the B2’s peculiarities force us to ground it for all enthusiast rig-building missions. It’s better suited for midrange machines.


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