A Closer Look
The InWin 503 gives off a premium look from afar, but a closer look reveals this case has a minimalistic design. This was advertised and could be a plus for some consumers. The transparent side panel and the red trim make this stand out and is available in red and white color scheme. Upon closer inspection, the 503 is noticeably smaller than some mid-tower cases aside from the bulge of the side panels. Without even opening the case, there looks to be ample room for cable management due to the extruded panels I mentioned earlier.
The front panel has a very reflective surface. This is thanks to the tempered glass front panel. I need to stress this fact about the case regarding tempered glass; Only the sliding front panel of the case is tempered glass. InWin was not clear as to what material the transparent window is made of and only mentions that it is tinted. I believe this was a deliberate marketing ploy to mislead consumers into thinking this case has a tempered glass side panel.
Since InWin allocated all their precious tempered glass into the front panel of the 503, it would only be fair to take a closer look. Sliding this front panel down reveals an optional 5.25” drive bay and sliding the panel up provides additional airflow to the lower front intake fan. Many users would opt to keep the side panel as optical drives are seldom used due to digital delivery of most software nowadays. Some users would prefer a swivel open door and extra optical drives, but given a low budget, this is acceptable. A great feature of this front panel is its resilience to scratches and is usual for tempered glass smart devices. Unfortunately this front panel is susceptible to finger, oil and dust which could be a problem if you care a great deal about aesthetics.
The body of the InWin 503 is built with SECC metal so there will be a textured feel to the case given the coating. As a whole, the InWin 503 has a solid durable feel. For low budget cases, I prefer to not have plastic accessories and accents all over the case to make a case look like a prop from a movie based on a comic book. Such fragile features are likely to fall off in transit during moves or long trips in air freight. This is a good decision on InWin’s part.
The rear of InWin 503 features the standard rubber grommets we see on many cases. The power supply is bottom mounted and to my surprise the housing has ample space and is well thought out. A power supply can be mounted with the intake facing inside or outside the case. For anyone who cares about lowering case temperatures, this is a must since the PSU will not be drawing hot air in from under the GPU. As long as the case is not placed on carpet the easily removable fan filters on the bottom of the case should be enough to keep the PSU innards clean. The 503 is raised off the ground with plastic legs.
The legs on this case may be a turnoff for some people, but given my experience with rubber feet on some cases I would be interested as to whether or not these plastic legs stand the test of time. There have been many cases in the past where these rubber feet fell off when sliding the case around during cleaning or moving. These legs seem to be removable as well in case one feels there is no need to have a case raised off the ground.
Upon further inspection of the bottom of case, it is apparent that the front fans will be attempting to draw in air from the bottom. It seems as though this case is best used when on clean hardwood flooring. I usually never recommend having a computer on carpet, but in the event carpet is your only option then I recommend you steer away from this case or remove the front intake fan.
Going back to the front of the case we see a plainly laid out front panel. This front panel features 2 USB 2.0 ports and 1 USB 3.0 port. The power button doubles as a cyan power light while the hard drive activity light is a small dot to the right. I’m not sure this is the best look for the InWin 503, but it’s not hideous either. When the power is turned on, this light appears to be almost white. The location of these ports favor an under desk setup. In addition to the USB ports the InWin 503 features front headphone and microphone jacks for uses who prefer to use headsets with jacks.
Moving around to the opaque side panel we see an extruded panel with nothing else as is standard with most cases. People usually do not spend a lot of time admiring this side of the case. One of the features InWin wanted as a selling point for this case is clearly cable management since this extruded panel should allow a more than reasonable amount of cables to be run through the back.
For some, the InWin 503 will be a troublesome to open up as there is no finger panel on the back to allow easy removal of the side panels. I have no idea why InWin decided to design the panels in the way. I can’t imagine it would cost that much more to change the shape of the side panel to allow fingers to pry open the case. As a result you would either need a flat-head screwdriver or push in from both sides when opening this case. Fortunately InWin had enough insight to feature thumbscrews. The side panels feel very study with a little flex despite the lack of a handle.