Antec ISK 300-65 Case Review

Hardware Secrets Golden Award


It seems that manufacturers are really serious on the race for who has the smallest case, and Antec is a serious contender with ISK 300-65, a tiny mini-ITX case that in order to reduce its size to the maximum it uses a laptop-style external 65 W power adapter. Is it worthwhile buying this case? Let’s see.

Measuring only 3 ¾” x 8 ¾” x 12 29/32” (9.6 cm x 22.2 cm x 32.8 cm), this case makes the other two small form factor cases we recently reviewed, SilverStone Sugo SG05 and Sugo SG06, to look like giants, as they have more than double the height. Cutting down the height by less than a half was possible by removing the power supply from the case. ISK 300-65 weights 7.5 lbs (3.4 Kg).

Antec ISK 300-65 caseFigure 1: Antec ISK 300-65 case.

Antec ISK 300-65 caseFigure 2: Antec ISK 300-65 case.

ISK 300-65 has two meshes: one on the top panel, above the area where a slim expansion card can be installed, and one on the right panel, in front of the 80 mm fan that comes with the product. We will talk more about this fan later.

Of course to reduce its size ISK 300-65 only supports slim optical drives, i.e., drives originally developed for portable computers. The only drawback is that this option increases the final cost of your computer, as slim drives are more expensive.

The front panel has a very sober and professional looks. The bay for the slim optical drive is protected by a cover, and ISK 300-65 has one eSATA port and two USB ports, plus the traditional microphone and headphones jacks. The additional of an eSATA port is an obvious plus, but the two USB ports are located too close to each other, preventing you from installing two “fat” USB devices at the same time.

Antec ISK 300-65 caseFigure 3: Front panel.

In Figure 4, you can see the rear panel from the reviewed case. You can see the jack for installing the external power adapter, the three-step speed control for the internal fan (a hole for a second speed control switch is available, as you can optionally install a second fan – more on this later) and one slim expansion slot. Of course you can only install one slim expansion card with this case. Notice how the top cover is fastened to the chassis using thumbscrews, which is great.

Antec ISK 300-65 caseFigure 4: Rear panel.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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