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September 29, 2014 by Lawrence Lee
Rosewill Legacy U3
MicroATX is overshadowed in the DIY community by ATX, despite often being the
more pragmatic choice as users often use few if any of the extra expansion slots
afforded by ATX. While technology is constantly getting smaller, to the point
where some users have ditched their tower PCs altogether, microATX continues
to play second fiddle in the world of desktops. This is reflected in the range
of cases available, with most microATX models being plain generic towers from
budget/OEM manufacturers. There are a few handsome and enthusiast models but
the choices pale in comparison to the multitudes produced for ATX. The market
has apparently determined that microATX simply isn't sexy.
One case seeking to dispel this notion is the Legacy U3, a model produced by
a surprising source: Rosewill, which began as the house brand of Newegg.
Store brand technology products are often regarded as cheap/unreliable, but
Rosewill has developed a fairly solid reputation among Newegg patrons.
The Legacy U3.
One advantage of cutting out the middle man is lower pricing, with the Legacy
U3 selling for a mere US$90, a bargain for an all-aluminum tower. The
front of the case is striking as its brush aluminum facia is bereft of ventilation,
drive bays, or even a single crease of any kind, and the gentle curves at the
top and bottom are a refreshing change from sharp corners. The rather low position
of the front audio and USB 3.0 ports wouldn't be ideal if the case were placed
on the floor, however. The side window is more attractive than most, as it takes
up almost the entire side panel, is more or less centered, and hasn't been fashioned
into a weird/angular shape. Overall we'd have to say this is one of the most
elegant microATX case we've come across, with a sleeker exterior than the stoic
aluminum-clad fare from manufacturers like SilverStone and Lian Li. Along with
our sample black model , a Silver edition is also available.
Since this article was posted, SPCR forum members have shared information
about the origins of this case:
"These are Jonsbo cases with a Roswell badge. They come in two
other sizes as well. http://jonsbo.com/en/products_U_series.html
"They are also available under the Cooltek label, and probably
"In North America, Rosewill is the exclusive Jonsbo distributor,
selling their products under its own brand, while, with a similar arrangement,
Cooltek is the exclusive Jonsbo distributor in EU."
||Legacy U3-B (black), U3-S (silver)
||MicroATX Mini Tower
|With Power Supply
||M-ATX / ITX (within 245mm x 245mm)
|With Side Panel Window
|Internal 3.5 Drive Bays
||2 x USB 3.0 Ports Audio In/Out
|Side Air duct
||8.19" x 10.63" x 14.13" (W x D x H)
(0.47" feet not included)
208 x 270 x 359 mm (W x D x H)
20.4 liters (12mm feet not included)
||5.51 lb. / 2.5 k.g
No case is without its drawbacks and the U3's derive mainly from its size.
It is small for a microATX model, standing just 35.9 cm (14.1 inches) tall and
measuring 27.0 cm (10.6 inches) from front to back, just over 20 liters volume.
Most microATX cases are closer to 30 liters and many are far larger than that.
While a tall/shallow shape is favored for larger NAS systems, the U3's drive
support is limited to just 2 x 3.5 inch or 1 x 3.5 inch + 2 x 2.5 inch drives,
and optical storage is off the table completely. The short depth rules out long
graphics cards with the specified limit being 26.0 cm (10.2 inches). Cooling
may also be an issue as there's only one fan position, the front bezel is completely
solid, and the power supply is positioned at the top of the tower and must draw
air from inside the case. To help increase airflow, ventilation has been provided
along the sides and underneath the case. The stock fan is a relatively quiet
120 mm model connected to a two-speed fan control switch.
As befits an online house brand case, the packaging is very plain with the
case shipping in a basic cardboard box unmarked with adornments aside from the
brand and name. The accessory box contains the necessary screws, long motherboard
standoffs (three of which are plastic), rubber grommets to dampen hard drives,
zip-ties, a PSU support bracket, a PC speaker, and an assembly manual.
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