Rosewill Legacy U3 Aluminum MicroATX Tower

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Rosewill Legacy U3 Aluminum MicroATX Tower

September 29, 2014 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Rosewill Legacy U3
MicroATX Case
Brand
Street Price
US$90

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 others.

"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."

 

Specifications: Rosewill Legacy U3
(from the product web page)
Model Legacy U3-B (black), U3-S (silver)
Type MicroATX Mini Tower
Color Black
Case Material Aluminum Alloy
With Power Supply No
Motherboard Compatibility M-ATX / ITX (within 245mm x 245mm)
With Side Panel Window No
Internal 3.5 Drive Bays 2
Expansion Slots 4
Front Ports 2 x USB 3.0 Ports Audio In/Out
120mm Fans 1
Side Air duct No
Dimensions 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)
Weight 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.


The box.


Accessories.

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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