Review: USB 3.0, hotswap unit and more
Hanjung is a Korean brand and a new name among computer case manufacturers. Thanks to pc-cooling.de, we got our hands on Hanjung TR300 EX case and are about to try it out. The design is pretty interesting but Hanjung did a good job in keeping up with the competition quality-wise.
Among other things, the TR300 EX packs four fans, USB 3.0 connector and hot-swap unit. The case is priced at about €59.
The package took quite a few tough hits in transport but, thankfully, the TR300 EX arrived unscathed.
All the accessories are in a plastic zip bag, the contents of which are on the following picture. The user manual is a single A4 sheet of paper, so many details were left unexplained
The TR300 EX weighs 7.7kg. It measures about 230x496x482mm (W x L x H). We included the add-on on the left side panel in the measurements.
One side panel has a 12cm fan that will come in handy with hot graphics cards, SLI or CrossFire setups. Since the fan is technically outside the case, it won’t get in the way of tall CPU coolers.
Hanjung offers a version of the case with a classic, metal side panel, which is dubbed the TR300.
We were pretty pleased with build quality of the TR300 EX, despite the few minor oversights. Hanjung used plastics of lesser quality in order to knock the price down, but the plastic is still tough enough and has a quality finish. The left side panel, entire top panel and parts of the front panel are made of plastics.
One of the minor issues we’ve found is that fact that users must break the metal covers on the expansion slots on the back of the case. While this is not a too hard task in itself, we’d advise users to get some gloves in order to do this. Namely, the covers are tough and not easy to take out. The TR300 EX has seven expansion slots in total.
Next to each of the slots is a blue square, suggesting that there is a toolless mechanism for expansion cards.
The thick blue cable you see on the picture below is that of USB 3.0 connectors coming from the control panel. This cable should be connected to a USB 3.0 connector on motherboards. Hanjung already showed how to take the cable out of the case.
Hanjung made sure that the case has adequate cooling and the TR300 EX comes with four fans. The first fan is on the rear panel; second is on the front panel; third on top whereas the fourth is the one sitting in the left panel.
The front panel fan is a blue LED one and will glow through the mesh grill on the front. There are also some LEDs on top of the front panel, which show up as a blue line when the computer is running.
The front panel has four 5.25’’ optical drive bays and there’s also the 5.25’’ to 3.5’’ adapter. As you can see, the front panel was spared of holding any keys or connectors. Power and reset keys were instead moved to the top control panel, which also holds the connectors.
All the connectors are lined up on the left edge of the panel. You’ll tell the USB 3.0 connectors from 2.0 by color, as the 3.0 connectors are blue while 2.0 ones are black.
The top of the front panel holds a hot-swap unit that’s used for quickly connecting 3.5’’ or 2.5’’ drives. The drives are removed by a simple tug, although it’s not as simple as it sounds since there is very little room for grabbing and pulling the drive with your hands. Hanjung could have perhaps used a mechanism for this - even a simple one would’ve done well. When the hot-swap unit is not used, you can use the room for smaller gadgets such as phones or USB sticks. In order to prevent slipping and sliding, Hanjung included a rubber pad in the accessories bag.
The TR300 EX also comes with fan regulation. Unfortunately, Hanjung used a button that only allows for two fan speed choices – fast or slow. All the fans use standard, three pin connectors so users can use their own fan controllers or connect the fans straight to the mobo.
The largest fan is a 200mm one and is hidden in the top panel.
The top panel hole (between the flaps and connectors) can be used to mount a 3-in-1 adapter and there is a cable hole in the middle of it. To the right is the fan speed control key.
The TR300 EX has rubber feet. Below the PSU is an air outlet, protected with a mesh grill filter. The filter cannot be removed for cleaning.
The case is 428mm tall, meaning it’s one of the taller midi-tower cases. However, the TR300 EX is actually taller than standard cases in this class due to the tall top panel shroud. Hanjing decided to use a large 20cm fan, which was placed in the top panel mask.
The picture shows that the TR300 EX has some nice room inside. The width of the case is enough for CPU coolers up to 16cm in height. The left side panel holds a 12cm fan, but it has been moved outside the case in a special panel add-on in order not to get in the way of taller CPU coolers. Our Cooler Master Hyper Z600 (16cm tall) fit like a glove, and you can also see that there are a few centimeters left between the CPU cooler and top panel fan.
Although drive bays and brackets cannot be removed, the TR300 EX will take HD 6970 cards, which are 27cm long. Unfortunately, the longest card around, Radeon HD 6990 (30.7cm), will not fit due to the maximum allowed length of about 30.3cm.
The metal motherboard tray features a CPU backplate cutout and there is plenty of room and holes for cable management.
The backplate cutout could have been a bit bigger, since some motherboards’ CPU sockets are slightly moved towards memory modules.
We had no trouble mounting Asus Rampage II Extreme mobo, which is an extended ATX board measuring 30.5cm x 26.9cm. As you can see from the picture, the holes for cable management are not blocked and can still be used. The backplate cutout was enough for easy CPU cooler mounting.
Hanjung included an extension 4/8 pin CPU power cable, which is a nice gesture since most PSUs don’t have a long enough 4/8 pin 12V CPU cable for it to be routed via the back of the case. The only thing that Hanjung could have done is to make the cable hole a bit wider. Note that you should route the cable before mounting the mobo.
We found three out of four fans connected to the controller, whereas the fourth fan (on the side panel) should be connected once all the components are in place. The fan controller is inside the case on the top panel and, as we said before, allows for two fixed modes of operation – fast or slow.
The plastic part of the top panel can be removed in case you decide you fans need cleaning.
The front panel can also be removed, which you’ll have to do when mounting optical drives.
The front panel comes with foam filters behind the mesh grill face. The front panel fan has its own filter as well.
The TR300 EX has the following fans: 12cm HM1225CLS 12V 0.16A Sleeve Bearing on the front panel; 12cm HM1225ASL 12V 0.16A Sleeve Bearing on rear and side panel and 20cm HM2030ASM 12V 0.42A Sleeve Bearing on the top panel. The fans can be quiet or loud, depending on the operation mode. When slow, they’re almost inaudible although they’re not too loud in fast mode either.
Almost all the 3.5’’ and 5.25’’ drive slots come with toolless fastening mechanisms, which secure both sides of the drive – a nice touch indeed. There are no anti-vibration grommets but we were more surprised by the fact that the 3.5’’ drive brackets have no room intended for 2.5’’ drives. One such drive can be placed in the hot-swap bay on the top panel or the adapter in one 5.25’’ slot.
The 3.5’’ drive cage is fixed and will take six drives, whereas the seventh one can be placed via the adapter in 5.25’’.
The PSU goes in the bottom of the case and is placed on rubber grommets. The TR300 EX will take the longest PSUs without problems.
Graphics or other expansion cards can be locked without using screws. Unfortunately, coolers of most of the cards we’ve tried prevented the mechanism from fully locking. Truth be told, the cards were secured nicely after all, but we’d still advise you to take them out in transport, or at least put in a screw just in case.
To be fair, there’s no better locking mechanism than the good old screw – so we’d rather have that solution than a half functional locking mechanism.
The TR300 EX is the first Hanjung’s case we tested. Hanjung is a Korean brand but can be found in stores around the globe. The TR300 EX costs about €59 and although it’s not a famous brand, we’re sure users will latch on and see that the case is a really well designed product.
Hanjung went for the best bang per buck ratio, so the TR300 EX boasts quite a few features. There is plenty of room inside for tall CPU coolers and longer graphics and the cooling is adequate as well.
Bearing in mind the price and the fact that the TR300 EX comes with four fans, USB 3.0 and a hot-swap unit, it seems as Hanjung is on the right track to become many a user’s favorite. We’d like to thank PC-Cooling.de who kindly provided us with the testing sample of Hanjung’s TR300 EX case. You can order it here.