I have had my eye on the Chenbro ES34169 case for some time now. It is relatively inexpensive small case with 4 build-in sata harddisk bays. My plan was to replace the current chassis to make a more compact NAS.
Unfortunately, the power supply does not work with the Jetway NC9C-550-LF I am using as a NAS mainboard.
I have contacted Chenbro, and got a reply from saying that they are testing the case with Jetway boards.
This was a very bad first impression, but lets not draw hasty conclusions from this.
The case is a designed for use with a mini-ITX board and has room for one 2,5″ drive inside. All cables are included and the power supply ranges from 120W to 180W depending on the product code. The one I tested is a 180W.
The case has a front door which is dark semi-tranparent. This gives a nice dimmed look when the case is operational. The door is made from plastic and contains a tiny lock which you may be familiar with if you have ever had one of these 3,5″ floppy storage bay back in the days where splitting archived files made sense. Breaking it open will most likely require very little force, hence it is not very secure.
The case includes a CF/SD card reader – althought optional (check before you buy). This really gives the case an edge and opens up for variaty of deployment options.
I’ve taken off the plastic front for no particular reason other than I like to take things apart.
Hardware installation was easy. Every drive bay slides out without any force, and mounting the drives is just a matter of screwing in four screws.
All cables are either supplied or already installed, and the mini-ITX board installs without any space problems. Just remember a low profile CPU heatsink.
Getting all the cables fixated, do they don’t apply force to case side can be somewhat challenging – but what can you expect from a case with such limited space.
The case has room for one low profile pci/pci-express card.
The drive bays seem sturdy, but the general impression of the case is: cheap. Maybe this is because the previous NAS case was a full-aluminum case from Lian-Li, but I cannot look away from the fact that the metal bends very easily and seems very soft in general.
Nevetheless, when the case is assembled everything is solid, and there are no wobbely or loose parts.
A good, affordable and very recommendable case.