What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

In-Win Allure mATX Case Review

Status
Not open for further replies.

gporgie

New member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
1
In-Win Allure mATX Case Review




Manufacturer Part #: a360
Price: About $100 USD
Availability: Now (USA)
Warranty: Unknown
Colours Available: Metallic grey, Metallic blue, Metallic green
Manufacturer Product Page: Allure



Before we begin this review, I have to thank the guest author of this review who just happens to be Misoprostol's girlfriend (with the help of Miso himself). This is a unique case that is targeted towards a niche market and having a woman review it definately gives it a different perspective. SKYMTL


Founded in 1986, In-Win Development Inc. established itself as a manufacturer of professional computer chassis and later became a producer of power supplies and digital storage devices as well. Historically In-Win has done the majority of their volume as an OEM, and this case is the spearhead of their expansion into the retail market. Even though their OEM cases have been stuck into "Dell Grey" mode for quite some time, their retail cases seem to have a bit more substinance to them.

The Allure is a huge departure from In-Win’s normal style of nondescript beige/black enclosures for system builders. Even though it is based off of their standard 360 mATX chassis, they have gone to great lengths to market this case and have even built an entire web page for it. If you want to check out the Allure mini-site, you can go here. The biggest difference between the Allure and the rest of In-Win’s case line-up is apparent when you first look at it. It has art work!

This leads us to the target market for the Allure. If you’re expecting this case to appeal to the hardcore gamer with flames on the sides and a skull on top, then go somewhere else… unless this hardcore gamer is buying a case for his girlfriend. The Allure is aimed straight at the most womanly of computer users; the flower art work and Swarovski crystals ensure that no one else would be interested in it. Even though it is priced quite a bit above what we usually see In-Win cases retailing for. At around $100USD (we can't find anywhere in Canada which is selling it yet) it represents a step

Bearing all of this in mind, the Allure has a market, one which has been completely untapped until now. So without further ado, let’s dive further in and see what sets this groundbreaking case apart from the rest.


847831f75af23d.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
Specifications / Packaging

Specifications

847831413735e5.jpg



Packaging

8478314137aec4.jpg
84783141382f43.jpg

The case came packaged in a box within another box. The brown cardboard box is like any other, except that it had a label with the name and part number of a different case which can make anyone wonder and worry. I am guessing this was done to protect the easily-scufffed but beautiful white and pink Allure box.​

The white cardboard box on the other hand, with its matte white finish, painted pink and purple flowers, and a raised handwritten "Allure" makes any girl smile and say "wow, that's nice."​

847831413977b1.jpg
8478314139c0f0.jpg

After carefully opening the white box, the first thing you'll notice is a sparkly notebook that has "Allure" embossed in it.​

After removing the top layer, its easy to see that the case has been packed very neatly with foam and plastic pockets of air. Good packaging is extremely important for the Allure because there are a few features it has which are quite fragile as you will see a bit later.​

847831413a04f5.jpg

The case itself is lovingly wrapped in a gauze-like material that helps protect it from scratches. All in all, the packaging for the Allure is sturdy enough to protect it from nearly any damage...even though I was a bit affraid when the outside box held the product number of a different case..
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
Accessories

Accessories

847831413a2e5f.jpg
847831413a7e27.jpg

The first page after opening the notebook had a cute but extremely corny quote, "You are a thief and a vandal, for not only have you stolen my heart but tattooed it too." with a space for someone's name. While it would have been sweet if it was translated a bit better and the case was used as an odd gift from a boyfriend to his girlfriend, it just seems a bit odd here. After showing that to people around me and having a fit of laughter, I went on to look through the rest of the notebook.​

2404788554ae1e98.jpg
847831dfe34660.jpg

In the above photos, the instruction manual (full colour and actually reasonably helpful, unlike most case instruction manuals) can be seen, as well as the unique power cord that allows the back cover to be shut while the computer is plugged into the wall (a useful feature to be sure).​

The power cable is unlike any other; it has a 90 degree bend so that the power cable can come neatly out of the back of the case. The instruction manual was very easy to follow and outlined the steps necessary to open the case, add a PCI/AGP card and install the motherboard, hard drive, external drives, and rear fan.

2404788554ae8c1f.jpg
84783145a5dadd.jpg

Other than the manual, there was a bag of screws, an In-Win Allure bookmark with extra Swarovski crystals, and a power cable. The case did not include many accessories but considering the fact that it is a tool-less case, I am not surprised. Now some might laugh at the fact that the Allure included a cheesy bookmark, but it is important to keep in mind who this case is designed for and geared towards: girls. Any girl who would buy this case would like a trinket like this (especially the extra crystals included to decorate other notebooks).​
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
Exterior Impressions

Exterior Impressions

84783145a82db4.jpg
84783145a7e036.jpg

The first thing I noticed about the "metallic grey" case, was the fact that it is actually more white than grey. It has a beautiful white matte finish that appears shiny and reflects light from every angle. While they don't look like much in the pictures, the Swarovski crystals shine brilliantly and are stunning. They actually add to the classy high end impression In-Win was going for when designing this case. Also, since this is an mATX case it is quite small when compared to its ATX bretheren.

The flower pattern is flat to the touch and is also very nicely done. It is strategically placed so that it doesn't make the case look too busy or too plain, while adding a feminine touch to an elegant looking case without it coming off as cheesy.

84783145a6191a.jpg
84783145a6579d.jpg

In these photos, you can clearly see the front of the case in all its flowered glory. On the left, the cover for the external bays is down. On the right it has been lifted, revealing where the drives go in this particular case.

84783145a6c4ee.jpg
84783145a7518b.jpg

The front of the Allure has two parts; the top part of the case has a one touch push button that when pushed, causes the top to swing up and expose the two 5.25" bays and the two 3.5" bays. This feature actually adds to the aesthetic appeal of the case since it hides ugly drive bezels which will probably not be white. The whole swing-arm system seems to be very well made and robust enough to last quite a long time. This feature actually adds to the aesthetic appeal of the case since it hides ugly drive bezels which will probably not be white.

The bottom portion of the Allure's front panel has the power button, two USB 2.0 ports, a IEEE 1394 port and the earphone and microphone ports. All of these ports are easily accessible and very well laid out.

84783145a8a9d4.jpg
8478314d76c9c8.jpg

The back of the case comes with a ventilated back panel. Now some might wonder how on earth they're supposed to plug things into the back of their computer but it's actually quite simple. The rear panel actually contains four push out pieces that can be removed depending on the areas that you need access to. If this is too much of a bother, there is a one touch push button that releases the ventilated back panel to expose a second rear panel and the back of the case. As seen in the picture, there is a place for a 92mm fan and four expansion slots. There is also a curious little yellow button that when pushed, releases the side panel opposite the motherboard.

8478314d7704e8.jpg

The side panel opposite the motherboard has the In-Win logo and a small ventilated section that allows airflow into the case and directly onto the CPU (which we will talk about in the next section).

8478314d775596.jpg
847831dfe30507.jpg

The top of the case is black and ribbed. It does not let air in but it does contrast the white nicely while the bottom of the case is also nothing special, it just has four grey rubber feet. On the other hand, it is good to see rubber used here since they should do a good job of dampening vibrations and protecting your floors if you tend to move your case around alot.
 
Last edited:

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
Interior Impressions

Interior Impressions

The interior is less refined when compared to the exterior but it is every girl's heaven since it includes mostly tool-less ways of installing parts. These tool-less features also make it easier on people who change their computer parts often. It is interesting to note that all of the tool-less push/pull devices have been coloured brightly yellow, just in case some of us have a hard time finding them.

8478314d779f06.jpg
8478314d77f3a6.jpg

The next thing I noticed was a see-through grey plastic piece that swings in and out. This is the vortex air duct that is supposed to focus air from outside the case onto the CPU. A generic 92mm fan has also been included and pre-installed on the rear panel. It should also be mentioned that you can't install a fan inside or on the air duct. However, this should not cause too much of a problem considering the Allure is geared towards lower-end systems.

8478314d782bbf.jpg

The interior has room for two 5.25" bays and two 3.5" bays. Devices can be put into these bays by pulling on the yellow knobs and then secured by pushing these knobs back in. Overall, this is a very well designed and intuitive system that makes installing drives as easy as possible.

8478314d788c16.jpg
8478314d7944e5.jpg

The Allure has a swing out hard drive cage that fits two hard drives and this is one of the few parts that actually requires a screw driver for installing. An important thing to note here is that there is no mounting space for a hard drive area intake fan and this also restircts airflow quite a bit as well.

The top part of the case is where the power supply will sit, which is pretty standard and there is a small lip to hold it in place. This case also comes with pre-attached standoffs so that no time needs to be wasted fidgeting with the little metal standoffs that often come included.

8478314d79e134.jpg
8478314d7a31be.jpg

In order to install devices into the expansion slots, you normally have to undo a screw at the side to remove the metal slot cover but In Win has done things a bit differently with their Allure. With this case, it is just a matter of pushing on a little knob which releases all of the slot covers at once. Super easy for anyone who has never installed components before.

8478314f8322bd.jpg
8478314f83727e.jpg

If you so desired, you can also remove the front panel by pushing on a knob at the bottom right of the case. It took me a couple tries to figure out how to put it back on though.

8478314f83b6cf.jpg

Connectors present include an infrared connector, a front panel audio connector (HD/AC97), a speaker connector, a IEEE 1394 connector, a power switch connector, a hard drive LED connector, a power LED connector, and a front panel USB connector.

I have to say that after seeing the outside I was really disappointed by the aesthetics on the inside. It's got special features but nothing aesthetically pleasing or displeasing - very generic looking. Upon further thought, it seems quite obvious to me now why that is and I'm more appreciative of the thought that went into this case and the thought that went into who it was built for. It is actually tailored quite perfectly for its target consumer. If the inside had been done up as nicely as the outside, the cost of this case would probably be outrageous, or at least more than anyone (including females who don't care much for computers but like pretty things that are easy to use for a reasonable price) would pay. Also, taking into account the fact that there is no window it seems quite pointless to have an exquisite interior. Overall, it is win-win; you receive a classy looking case that is user-friendly for a reasonable price.
 
Last edited:

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
Installation / Cooling Performance

Installation

When installing hardware, it is recommended to do so in the following order due to space constraints: power supply, external 3.5” devices, motherboard, and then optical and hard drives. The vortex air duct made it extremely hard to install hardware into this case, but it was easily removed. Overall, installing hardware into the Allure was easy thanks to well-illustrated instructions but the case is a bit cramped.

847833c3f5f306.jpg
847833c3f5c4dc.jpg

The instruction manual was very easy to follow and outlined the steps necessary to open the case, add a PCI/AGP card and install the motherboard, hard drive, external drives, and rear fan. It did not, however, outline the necessary step to open the second back panel to screw in the power supply. In order to do this, I had to pull up on two white tabs at the bottom of the case near the rear. To put this piece back in, push the bottom white tabs in first then snap the top back in place.

847845d6f6a982.jpg
847845d6f66dce.jpg

Once all the hardware had been put in its place, all the cables reached where they needed to without any modding and all excess cable length was neatly tucked away near the front of the case. I had good access to the front panel connectors with the motherboard used. After securing the back panels back on, I found that I only had to punch out one of the mesh pieces as the rest of the wires, including the power cable, came neatly out the bottom.

The tool-less features were easy to use, adequate and held hardware securely; however, the option to use screws is available if someone felt like using them. There were no sharp edges when working inside the Allure, which speaks a bit of its build quality. It is prudent, however, to be careful with laying the case down on its side to work on it because of all of the Swarovski crystals. I guess this is why they included extras.

It was slightly annoying trying to install an expansion card because all of the expansion covers fell out when the latch was flicked open. The included fan was not particularly loud but also not particularly good at moving air out of the case either. Also, there was not much in terms of extra screws which is fine because it keeps things simple.


The hardware configuration used is as follows:

- Intel Pentium Dual Core E2160 (stock all aluminum cooler)
- 2 x 256MB Crucial PC2-4200
- Gigabyte S-Series GA-G31MX-S2
- Old 40GB IDE Hard Drive
- Antec Smart Power 2.0 450W Power Supply (pulled from Sonata II)
- Pioneer IDE DVD Burner
- On board video was used
- Windows XP


Cooling Performance

Overall, the cooling performance of the Allure seems to be good but it is really nothing to write home about since it comes with only a single 92mm fan installed. The vortex air duct does a good job of bringing fresh air to the CPU. The CPU temperature under load (using core temperatures from Prime 95) when the system is set up inside the case is only a couple degrees (2°C) higher on each core than when the system is set up on an open test bed.

There are vents on the side and back panels of the chassis plus the single generic 92mm exhaust fan which all seems to be sufficient to cool off lower-end components. The hard drives (as well as the rest of the front of the case) do not have direct air flow and adding a high end video card may be a mistake as it probably would not be adequately cooled.

For my purposes and with the hardware that I have installed, which is both value oriented and entry level, the Allure cools everything just fine.
 
Last edited:

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
Conclusion

Conclusion

For In-Win’s first attempt at targeting girls, the Allure can be considered a great success. In-Win researched their target market well and designed an affordable case that is classy, unique, feminine, and user-friendly for mainstream female users. Everything about the exterior design is well though-out and implemented to perfection and the inclusion of the pink and purple Swaroski crystals sparkle like a dream come true. In Win could have made a beautiful case without any functionality but with the Allure, they took functionality as well as design into account for every aspect of this case.

The Allure has left a lasting impression on everyone who has seen it. It's a great conversation piece and more than one person around the office has done a double take when I walked past while holding it. In-Win has done a great job of producing a piece of art with all the cuteness of a Hello Kitty backpack, but with the sturdy construction that you would expect from a world-renowned chassis manufacturer.

There are very few slip-ups that I can think of but the ones that are apparent need to be addressed in order to make this a perfect case for In Win's target market. First and foremost there is the issue with all of the expansion slot covers drop to the ground every time you want to release ONE of them. While it may not be the fault of In Win but rather the etailers that In Win supplies, I would like to see SOME availability of this case in Canada. Finally, according to my boyfriend there really should be an optional fan mounting location near or on the hard drive cage in order to increase airflow within the Allure.

I can’t think of any way to better summarize my feelings about the Allure than to simply say that it will be replacing my current case for my everyday machine. It looks at home in the living room and has attracted lots of compliments since I put it there, from men and women alike. Bravo In-Win. I look forward to seeing more like this in the future.

We have decided to give a new award for JUST this case. After hearing the way the women and men talked about it, the In-Win Allure gets our one-time-only, limited edition DAM CUTE AWARD!!


Pros

- Exquisite design
- Easy installation process
- Price
- Sturdy build quality
- Neat external cable routing
- Very neatly laid out interior
- Conversation piece

Cons

- Interior space a bit cramped but as expected since it is a micro ATX case
- No additional fan mounts
- Not suitable for high end video cards (they may fit but cooling would likely be inadequate)
- All of the expansion slot covers fall out when tool-less mechanism is released
- Limited to no availability in Canada


8478437801fabc.jpg

24047883bbc7069b.jpg


 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest posts

Twitter

Top