Although we're not a hardcore PC hardware testing site, here at pocket-lint.co.uk we can't resist a bargain, nor the urge to tell you about one that we find. Also while we deal in PC products occasionally, we haven't been totally blind to the case modding scene.

It's certainly true that the vast majority of users just want a good looking computer case without breaking out the Dremel, blowtorch, safety goggles and spray paint and Jeantech is a name long associated with value, selling mostly through PC World stores in the UK. Last Christmas one of its cases fell to £30 while still sporting a removable motherboard tray- an unheard-of milestone. We thought that was the best they had to offer until the JNH-60 arrived.

Nicknamed “Phong” (Breeze), this ATX midi-tower steel case sports four large optical drive bays and seven for hard disks with two of the latter externally accessible for floppy drives or media reader trays. The left side of the case has a mounting for an 80mm fan, so using one with LED functionality will let you have your lights- but a plastic baffler will also extract hot air. It's helpful even if it doesn't necessarily line up with the CPU's heatsink and fan for Athlon XP models. On the other hand Barton CPU users whose coolers do measure 80mm should find this touch a stroke of genius.

The nickname “Breeze” is probably derived from the pair of adjustable 120mm fans, with motherboard power connectors, mounted at the front and rear of the case. The front fan is also bolstered with a dust filter and both coolers are controllable with side-mounted dials located above the USB 2.0 and audio ports you can wire up to your motherboard, if the board has the right pins. The rear fan has an embossed hexagonal finger guard, another quality touch that belies the street price.

The side panels are fixed using large bolts making detachment a screwdriver-free exercise. No PSU is supplied, so this case is primarily aimed at people transplanting whole systems as I was. In spite of permanently pushing out blanking plates, no fingers were cut. In fact the stamped-in blanking plates and the front buttons moving at slight angles were the only sign that the case was a budget model. Unlike its sister case the JN-424SB it had no removable tray, but there's enough room to work inside this case without one.

So why should you take any notice of this, it's just another case, right? Its introductory and sale price at PC World is…£30 outside of a sale, going up to an RRP of £35 on the website and £40 in store. For three £10 notes we can put up with flimsy front buttons and chances are you will easily fill all the blanking plate slots at the back if you're transferring all your components from an old case, so only getting two screw-in plates for yourself is no great hardship. The worst thing you may have to do is get new black peripherals and external drives in time so that everything matches. Of course this isn't a life or death priority and can be done as peripherals fail rather than upgrading for purely cosmetic reasons. To round off the package, the quartet of rubber feet are pre-mounted, so if you've laid down a base or surface panel on your carpet the entire system will be raised off the floor, resisting even more dust. The Phong also sweeps aside its elder brother, the £50 JNH-501, which lacks the great cooling system of this new breed.

Verdict

If you're upgrading and you want as much to go towards the inner components of the PC as possible while still getting a good looking case, this is the one for you, especially if the introductory price holds at £30. The PC World SKU Code is 555856 to enquire about stock and the nearest component centre. At this price there's only one case by Cooler Master, which could compete. However, keeping both its fans at 120mm and using PC World's retail route for quicker availability means that it's our more immediate choice, even if it's not tool-free throughout.

Copy and paste the following link for more information:

http://www.jeantech.com/Products/Cases/Phong/body_phong.html