1. About the Thermaltake WingRS 301
Thermaltake has recently Thermaltake announced the release of a new series of mid-tower cases for people on the move. The WingRS 301 is a portable and affordable PC case and sports all the essentials someone expects from Thermaltake: quality, tool-free design, easy accessibility and optimized ventilation.
With its reinforced top handle you can easily transport this 5.1 KG case and its dimensions of 491 (D) x 170 (W) x 420 (H) mm allow for convenient storage in your car, the bus or train, and some airlines might even allow it as carry-on baggage. If you are looking for a portable PC case solution in order to carry your precious gaming machine to tournaments, or you every so often travel e.g. from home to university the WingRS 301 is a great solution.
Built for ATX and MicroATX motherboards, the WingRS 301 offers sufficient room for high-end graphics cards and provides 9 tool-free drive bays for maximum expandability with four 5 1/4" and five 3 1/2" bays. Seven I/O expansion slots give you enough freedom to upgrade your system with add-on cards. An 120 mm rear exhaust TurboFan is installed to make sure your machine stays cooled even under high load.
The black finish lends the WingRS 301 its distinct character and at the same time fits to most modern interiors. And the front mesh grill doesn't’t just look cool but, above all, provides for improved ventilation. If needed you can even install an additional front fan. Two USB connectors and HD Audio MIC and Speaker connectors in the front give you most convenient access.
The WingRS 301 mid-tower chassis will be available at a suggested retail price of US$ 49.
- Strengthen handle for convenient transportation
- Front mesh grill for maximum ventilation
- High efficiency ventilation: 120mm TurboFan at rear (front is optional)
- Air guide and openings on side panel for better CPU & VGA cooling
- Tool-free for easy assembling all drive bays and PCI devices
- USB x 2, MIC & Speaker (support AC’97 & HD Audio)
| Case Type
|| Middle Tower
| Dimension （H x W x D）
|| 485.0 x 190.0 x 490.0 mm
(19.1 x 7.5 x 19.3 inch)
| Net Weight
|| 5.1 kg / 11.2 lb
| Cooling System
|| Front (Intake) : 120 x 120 x 25 mm (optional)
Rear (Exhaust) : 120 x 120 x 25 mm TurboFan, 1300rpm, 17dBA
| Drive Bays
- Accessible : 4 x 5.25’’, 1 x 3.5’’
- Hidden : 4 x 3.5’’
| Expansion Slots
|| Micro ATX , Standard ATX
2. Package, first look
The Thermaltake Wing RS301 case retails online at t ~€65, which is a good price for an entry level mid-tower PC case.
The device comes in a large black box:
The WingRS 301 case is well packaged and two fairly compact Styrofoam spacers hold it in place. The package contents are limited to a mainboard speaker, a mixed bag of screws and a single expansion slot cover.
The box has black color, something that add points to its luxurius look and also fits to most modern interiors. The most obvious external feature is the big reinforced top handle that can be used to move the case as a carry-on baggage:
Don't expect to see any novelty in the design of the case. This does not mean that it lacks convenience and ergonomics. On the front there are four 5.25" bays, two USB ports and the Audio in/out jacks. The front panel is made out of plastic and the bays out of steel. The whole structure feels very sturdy:
Rubber tabs on the bottom side are available to keep the case stable and absorb any vibrations:
The back-lit power button has a good response and a robust feel. Right below it you can see the reset button and the HDD access LED (red):
Two ventilation slots are placed on the right side of the case. These could be useful if you need to install extra cooling fans inside the box:
Opening the case is very easy due to thumb size screws:
The Thermaltake Wing RS301 internal unveils lot of empty space:
A120mm fan has been pre installed by Thermaltake:
You don't have to use and tools to install your HDD or ODD drives at the 5.25" and 3.5" bays, due to their convenient design:
The case looks typical from the rear side:
The expansion slots are covered with a a back plate they are fastened on the case with screws. Keep in mind that these covers currently in place are of the breakout kind, which means that they cannot be reused once removed from their current position:
3. Installing the PC components
We started building a complete system from the scratch. Our motherboard is a full-ATX board from Gigabyte with an AMD X4 9950 processor and 2GB of RAM installed.
We used a power supply unit from ArcticCooling:
The first step is to install the back plate. This requires requires you to remove the installed case fan first - not very convenient if you ask me:
Installing and fastening the motherboard into the case was easy but... there were no motherboard spacers bundled. These spacers would keep the installed motherboard in a safe distance from the case, protecting it from possible short circuits that could damage it. Instead, Thermaltake offers some small bumps as mainboard spacers, not a wise solution in my opinion. In any case, finding some motherboard spacers is not very difficult.
The cables for front panel LEDs and connectors have a good length and can easily reach the motherboard. Installing two extra expansion slots at the back was not a problem and still, there is a lot of empty space left as you can see below:
The front plastic cover of the case can be easily removed in order to install a 5.25" device. Notice that you have to bend and remove the corresponding metallic plate first:
The built-in plastic screws for the optical/HDD drives are easily accessible and make installation easier. However, we are not very sure that they can be durable enough, especially if you carry the case with you:
We also installed an extra 120mm fan on the front for better cooling. Here is how our box looks like after connecting all the components and the power supply unit:
4. Final thoughts
On the whole, build quality in PC cases tends to be directly related to how expensive it is. And equipment aimed at an entry level market tends to have lower build quality than equipment aimed at a professional market. But as always, there are exceptions either way. Is the Thermaltake WingRS 301 such an exception?
Partially yes. Generally speaking, build quality refers to how well designed and constructed the product actually is from a subjective point of view. This includes factors such as reliability, sturdiness, fit and finish (if the product appears smoothly made and polished or is rough and ready), quality of materials and so on. We feel that the Thermaltake WingRS301 could offer a little bit more for a product of this price range. For example, metallic edges in the internal of the case are sharp and not rounded, so be careful when assembling the system. The case doesn't have real spacers for the motherboard but rather some bumps, which should be rounded with plastic tape in order to avoid damaging the motherboard. Also have in mind that big-sized coolers won't fit in this case and that you cannot place the rear backplate unless you remove the pre-installed case fan first. In addition, the expansion bay lock could be better and so make sure to check the available empty space before installing any large graphics card.
On the other hand, Thermaltake has paid attention to the design of the case. It's black finish lends the WingRS 301 its distinct character and at the same time fits to most modern interiors. The carrying handle is useful for moving around your system, especially if you are a gamer who spends your nights with you friends in LAN game parties around the city. Last but not least, the screw-less mounting mechanism for the optical storage/HDD drives offers convenience and works well although we cannot say that they look durable enough to handle any vibrations caused by carrying the case around with you.
Summing up our thoughts, we think that the WingRS 301 PC case could be a a good choice for entry-level users, although its retail price could be lower in order to keep up with competition from other vendors, who offer affordable PC cases with similar features and characteristics.