Budget Casing Shootout - Affordable PC Housing

Introducing the Casings (contd.)

The Ikonik EN2-WB

he Ikonik EN-2 looks nothing like the awesome Ra X10 Liquid we reviewed early last year. It's much more basic and humble in appearance. In fact, it looks a lot like the Gigabyte Luxo M1000.

Compared to the other five brands, Ikonik is perhaps the newest to the PC hardware components scene. And word on the street is that the company was founded by one of the senior computer casing and power supply engineers at Gigabyte. Yet despite being new, we were completely bowled over by their awesome Ra X10 Liquid casing, which we awarded a full score, a first for any casing in our 12-year history if we might add.

The Ikonik EN2 we have here is a much simpler affair, which is a nondescript and unoffensive looking casing. Positioned as Ikonik's entry-level offering, it looks much plainer than the futuristic and handsome Ra X10 Liquid - but then again the Ra X10 Liquid is 10 times as costly.

The NZXT M59

Love it or hate it, you can't deny that the NXZT M59 has a very distinctive look.

Established about six years ago, NZXT hails from Los Angeles, USA, and is a relative newcomer in the business of computer accessories. Apart from chassis, the company also carries case fans, notebook coolers, PSUs and even gaming mice.

The mid-tower NZXT M59 stands out from our group of budget casings thanks to its funky looks. With most budget casings looking no more than bare boxes, the aggressively-styled M59 stands out like a red rose in a sea of white lilies. However, as with most case designs this bold, the M59 is a love-hate affair. While some might absolutely adore it, others will loathe it. We are more of the former, since its styling makes it unique.

The casing is mostly made up of SECC steel, of course, but NZXT doesn't specify its exactness thickness. However, we must say that the M59 feels sturdy - much more so than some other casings here.

The Thermaltake WingRS 301

The Thermaltake WingRS 301 bares a striking resemblance to the earlier seen Cooler Master Centurion 5 II, with the exception of the carrying handle on the top panel.

Founded in Taiwan in 1999, Thermaltake has been a prominent player in the computer hardware industry, manufacturing all manners of casings, computer fans, heatsinks, coolers and power supplies.

The WingRS 301 is Thermaltake's entry-level mid tower casings and it distinguishes itself from its competitors by having a special carrying handle. To be honest, the casing isn't the lightest we've encountered and we can't help but think that the carrying handle is more of a gimmick that anything else. Still, we are sure there are users out there who would find the casing handy, be it just to transport around the house, or for the occasional LAN party.

Elsewhere, the Thermaltake WingRS 301 looks unassuming. With a plain-looking front panel and nothing else that is of particular note.

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