UK price (as reviewed): £269.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $299.99 (exc. tax)
Entering the case market is not easy given how much competition there is, but Cryorig, a cooling specialist just like Phanteks was when it made its own entrance, is now looking to make some headway with cases too. Where Phanteks came out with the bold and big Enthoo Primo, though, Cryorig is doing the opposite with the Taku, a mini-ITX drawer-style chassis with an eye-catching yet nicely understated design. That said, while small in size, the Taku is not small in price at £270, meaning it has its eyes firmly fixed on the premium market.
Cryorig first attempted to bring the Taku to market via crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, but it only achieved around half of its $100,000 funding goal. Nonetheless, it has still managed to enter the Taku into production with manufacturing partner Lian Li.
With Lian Li on production, it’s unsurprising to see that a lot of aluminium has been used here. The outer shell is made of two thick sheets, one on the bottom and one on the top that is rounded to cover both sides too, and this has been sandblasted and anodised in silver. The end result is excellent, as the material is both strong and lightweight, and it looks and feels great. Then the front panel is a nice thick slab, this time finished in a smooth white. Even the black internals use aluminium instead of steel.
The Taku is designed to stand on two wooden legs, which Cryorig says are hand crafted and unique to each produced chassis. We’re definitely of the opinion that it’s time for wood to be used more in PC cases, and the legs that are included are very nicely finished indeed, plus we think it complements the aluminium very well. Three screws per leg are used to secure them to the underside, and rubber pads are provided for the base of each leg too. Once it’s standing, there’s easily enough clearance to tuck a keyboard and mouse under the case in order to declutter your desk when you’re eating or just need the space for something else. It’s clearly a case that could be described as a ‘lifestyle’ product, so these little things are worth considering. It’s also able to support monitors up to 15kg in weight directly on top of it.
The front panel is left very clean, housing only a single large button for power. The clear part of it illuminates white, but the effect is sadly inconsistent i.e. brighter in some areas than others. It’s a small point, but it’s bothersome when you notice it, and a slip in quality that we shouldn’t see at this price point. The I/O panel is instead located on the right side, and it’s home to two USB 3.0 connectors (both Type-A, as there’s annoyingly no Type-C) and dual audio jacks. Update 28/05/2018: Cryorig has been in touch to state that it is working on a USB 3.1 upgrade kit for the Taku, although exact details and a release date are still to be confirmed.
There’s plenty of ventilation cut into the outer shell, with dotted sections on the top and bottom and grill-style vents on both sides. This is important, since when the case is closed up, it’s rather sealed other than these holes. The case comes with a single 92mm internal fan, which draws air in through the roof; mostly, you’ll be relying on the coolers on your hardware to do the work here.
Two notches at the front can be used to route charging cables for phones and tablets through from the back to the front without leaving messy cables on display.
April 3 2020 | 14:09