Cooltek W2 Review
From the off we think it's fairly safe to say we're more than a bit taken with the aesthetics of the W2. With so much un-boxing to be carried out and review work to be done it's a rare thing for us to simply sit back and drink in in the beauty of a case. Even if its Steel chassis is wrapped in 2mm thick hair line brushed Aluminium panels, the beauty of the W2 is not just skin deep. Inside we find a dual chamber design able to take motherboards from M-ITX all the way up to XL-ATX, a feature that is more than hinted at by the eight Chrome plated and vented PCI slot covers at the rear. There’s also room for CPU coolers up to 163mm in height as well as GPUs up to 295mm long. If that's not enough, all you have to do is whip out the lower most of the two white bladed 140mm fans mounted in the front of the case and you can extend the maximum GPU length another 25mm taking it up to 320mm in total.
Whether you go for the Black or the natural Aluminium, with or without window there's not a shadow of a doubt that you'll be anything but massively impressed with the quality inherent in the W2. The fit and finish are exceptional to the point where we'd say they are on a par with Silverstone and perhaps even Lian-li. If you've handled cases from either of these manufacturers you'll know that's praise indeed. The W2 is more than just a pretty face though, as we've already said, there's room inside for a fair bit of kit. Being a split chamber design, the drives and PSU live in their own compartment separated by a vertical divider from the Motherboard section, though which well-spaced rubber grommeted cable management holes pass. The rear section it has to be said is a tad more utilitarian than the sexy motherboard side and does not have a window opening into it, but with space for up to 3x3.5", 3.2x5" and even a rear firing stealth mounted 5.25" drive it certainly earns its keep.
So far so good then, and we haven't even looked at the all important factor of native water cooling support. Crack open a W2 and you'll be pleased to see that it has support for a 280mm radiator in the front, which with 90mm of leg room available means that if you're willing to sacrifice a bit of GPU leg room and don't mind getting creative with your cable routing, there's no reason why you shouldn't fit in a fat 280 in push pull configuration. Down on the deck, which granted isn't the sexiest place to put a radiator there's still room for a 240mm unit. Again there are caveats to this installation in that you're going to be blanking off quite a few of the eight available PCI slots. If you're only planning on a single GPU set up then this really isn't going to be an issue, however anything more will require some very clever measurements to see if it's a viable option.
So what's not to like about the W2? Well with a price tag of £115 it isn't exactly cheap, but quality, as they say, costs. And the W2 really is a high quality case. The W2 though doesn't exactly have the Cube case market to itself. Although not as saturated as other sectors of the market the W2 does have some competition, not least of which is the Corsair Carbide air 540. The 540 does of course offer much the same, with the exception that it has greater native water cooling support being able to accommodate up to 360mm units in the front, but then it is a recognisably bigger case and will occupy a much bigger space on your desk. Of course, if you're not looking for something big, but still want a cube there's always the air 240, but then you're moving well away from what the W2 has to offer.
In short we found the W2 to be a very well made case. Small in stature but big in features, being able to offer support for XL-ATX boards, decent length GPUs as well as useful native water cooling out of the box. It also happens to offer an aesthetic so sleek and sexy your eyes will simply slide off it.