2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Inwin X Series IW-X710, Continued

The front-mounted ports and LCD on the IW-X710. Notice the quality grill that Inwin has elected to use here.

The centerpiece of the special features on the IW-X710 has to be the combination fan, temperature and clock LCD located above the grill in the front bezel. The four switches behind the LCD display control the device functions as well as the display. Included with the case was a front panel users' guide calling the LCD front panel the "J568 Model. We found the included documentation to be helpful in setting and programming the front panel options. However, we must comment on Inwin's omission of additional documentation on the case itself.

Below the front LDC panel are two USB compliant ports along with a MIC and headphone jack. The connectors on these jacks are clearly labeled for cable and motherboard installation. It is difficult to understand why Inwin would fail to include a front-mount USB/1394 on the front of the IW-X710 case. Still, the overall design of the front-mount ports is solid, except for the fact that due to the way they are recessed into the case one of our USB flash drives that was slightly larger than the normal USB connector would not fit in the top of the USB port. Inwin should have moved the USB ports down slightly from this recessed area to provide users more room to insert and remove their USB devices. The majority of the USB devices that we tried to connect worked well. However, due to the location of the top port, you might find a few that just will not fit.

Overall, the IW-X710 from Inwin provides further proof the Inwin is obviously moving in the right direction in their attempt to remake their product line. While Inwin is branding the X Series as a server case we feel that a lot of this is due to the fact that the X-710 is in a full tower configuration. We still think that many enthusiasts will like the IW-X710. Although the IW-X710 is not as radical a makeover as we would prefer, it does enjoy a very good number of new design elements that Inwin is obviously experimenting with. If this is any indication, we should be able to expect some interesting case designs from Inwin soon. If you like the looks of the IW-X710 we have no reservations in recommending it. Simply put, the IW-X710 offers a number of features and quality construction that other cases sorely lack. It will be interesting to see what Inwin can accomplish once they make additional improvements to their design and engineering. Certainly, there is no reason that we can see why you should not be happy with your choice if you purchase the IW-X710.