S2 Innovation AXIOM Pro Dust-Proof Midi Tower Review

Published on Monday, 21 October 2013 14:18

INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   Innovation is not something we see very often in the PC market lately and that goes double when we're talking about PC cases since although manufacturers tend to equip them with features a lot more than in the past still none of those features is really something we haven't seen before. This is perhaps one of the area that new manufacturers surpass the really well-known ones since they need the "extra push" in order to establish themselves in the market and what better way to do that than to answer the requests/recommendations of consumers and hope for the best? S2 Innovation is a brand new manufacturer based in Korea which i have to admit i knew nothing about up until 3 months ago when we first inquired about their brand new AXIOM Pro Midi Tower PC Case which is quite interesting since it incorporates a very innovative filtration intake system along with several other useful features. Well roughly 2 months later it found its way onto our photo bench and today we can finally unveil our review.

 

   Our company, S2 Innovation Co., Ltd (www. s2inno.com), has been developing and manufacturing unique products such as industrial electronic control modules, cooling solutions, peripherals for the PC and software ordered by enterprises for nearly 16 years since 1997. Also, we have been working on various information supplying applications for both private and corporate use. Now we are concentrating our efforts on launching the latest product of the S2 innovation range, the AXIOM Pro, and are in no doubt that it will bring a global change in not only the way that its users see PC cases but it will also revitalize the experience surrounding PC cases. Our entire staff will make their best effort to develop and supply unique and practical products for our customers.

 

   S2 Innovation has named their unique triple filtering system used in the AXIOM Pro the S-Filter which basically makes use of centrifugal forces to remove dust from the air and collect it inside a removable dust collection box. Granted this is not a feature that will skyrocket the performance of your system nor will it help in the easier installation of components but it should save consumers quite a bit of time since there's no longer the need to remove and clean air filters every now and then. However that's not all and so S2 Innovation has also equipped the AXIOM Pro with a headphone amplifier paired with digital audio controls, a top docking station/bay for both 2.5/3.5" drives (called the D-Pot), 4 specially designed drive bays capable of holding both 2.5/3.5" drives, a weird fence like section used for easy cable management and finally a two speed fan controller connected to all 3 pre-installed 120mm fans (two are part of the S-Filter intake system). Overall although this is the first attempt by S2 Innovation to enter the PC Case market it really seems that their solution offers more than most others so let's take a closer look.

 


 

SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PACKAGING AND CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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S2 Innovation uses a regular brown cardboard box with a large product drawing at the front placed right above a list with its main features and the company logo.

 

 

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The specifications table is placed on both sides of the box.

 

 

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You can see all the features of the AXIMO Pro at the rear of the box and there's also a large drawing pointing to the S-Filter feature.

 

 

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Two thick Styrofoam spacers dressed with cardboard and a plastic bag keep the AXIOM Pro safe during transport.

 

 

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Inside the box you will find several cable ties, user's manual, mainboard speaker and 3 plastic bags with all the necessary mounting screws.

 


 

THE AXIOM PRO EXTERIOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When looking at the AXIOM Pro i don't know if it looks like a sports car or a fighter plane i do however know that the two S-Filter Cyclone "turbines" look nice.

 

 

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Both side panels are quite standard but S2 Innovation has a side window panel available for sale.

 

 

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One of the things i found very useful is the two openings at the right top corners of both panels which are used to mount/unmount the 5.25" drive.

 

 

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Most of the front fascia features several glossy parts but there are also some matte sections as well.

 

 

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S2 Innovation calls this the Cyclone Dust Collector but i still see them as small turbines.

 

 

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Under each collector there's a tray in which the dust gets collected.

 

 

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The trays are removable for easier cleaning.

 

 

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The company logo is placed at the lower end of the fascia but the badge quality is not close to how good it could be (i hope the guys at S2 Innovation fix this).

 

 

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For good or bad the AXIOM Pro has but a single 5.25" drive bay (obviously for optical drive use).

 

 

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The D-Pot docking station is placed at the top of the AXIOM Pro and it can accommodate both 2.5/3.5" drives. When you want to eject the drives you just need to push the top cover upwards.

 

 

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On the left side of the D-Pot we see the headphones/microphone ports, the digital audio controls for the headphones (volume +/-), a mute button with a mute LED and the reset button right next to the HDD activity LED.

 

 

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Moving on the right side of the D-Pot we see 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports and the on/off power button right in front of the power LED.

 

 

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At the top we also see a large perforated space with the AXIOM logo at the center but what really steals the show is the Low/Standard speed fan controller switch right next to it.

 

 

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As we've come to expect from PC Cases the rear is also painted black but what we really liked here is the covers placed on the water cooling grommets.

 

 

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Rubber coated thumbscrews hold both side panels in place.

 


  

THE AXIOM PRO INTERIOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Both side panels are constructed by thick steel but have no noise-absorbing coating on the interior.

 

 

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As you can see to gain access to the interior of the AXIOM Pro you will need to open the right side and not the usual left side.

 

 

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The first things that will draw your attention are the two fans which are part of the Cyclone/S-Filter system.

 

 

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Although most dust gets collected in the front trays some will most probably escape and for that S2 Innovation has placed a removable air filter after each fan.

 

 

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The fans used are 120mm sized and spin up to 1500RPM.

 

 

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I was a bit curious as to what the interior of the Cyclone Dust Collector system looked like so here you go.

 

 

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Instead of regular drive trays the AXIOM Pro comes with 4 combo drive bays placed on the bottom.

 

 

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Each of these bays can accommodate up to two 2.5" drives or a single 3.5" drive.

 

 

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Since you need to mount the components from the right side the mainboard needs to be inverted so this time over the rear IO and the CPU cut out are placed on the lower right.

 

 

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All 7 PCI expansion slots are secured in place via regular screws so yes here i'd really like to see rubber coated thumbscrews too.

 

 

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The rear 120mm exhaust fan is the same model as the two ones placed at the front.

 

 

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There's very little room behind the mainboard tray for cable management but that's also why S2 Innovation has used the fence like space next to the front fans.

 

 

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As things are although the top of the AXIOM Pro is perforated you can't really place any fans there but with a little bit of modding all is possible.

 


 

BUILDING THE SYSTEM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always the purpose of this section is not to build a fully working system but rather to showcase what you can expect from the case at hand in terms of interior space.

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The AXIOM Pro is not a very large tower (larger than many midi towers still) but thanks to the fact that the power supply area is right next to the 24/8pin mainboard power connectors the really thick cables will not get in your way.

 

 

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You should be able to mount even the largest CPU Coolers around just as long as they are up to 162mm in height.

 

 

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There's also no problem in mounting the longest graphics cards since the AXIOM Pro has room for up to 370mm long ones.

 

 

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You can also use the largest power supply around but since the drive bays are very close i don't recommend that.

 

 

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A normal sized PSU is a far better solution since you will have only slight issues with it's cables and the bottom drives.

 


 

NOISE LEVEL TEST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After giving it much thought we decided on performing noise tests with each PC Case we receive by placing our ExTech HD600 vertically ontop of each case to measure the noise levels emanating from the pre-installed fans at both 50% and 100% with the help of a fan controller (if the case doesn't have one we use our own).

 


 

CONCLUSION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   Although i always like receiving innovative products by all the top and well-known companies in the field for testing nothing really beats the how much i'm intrigued whenever i get something innovative designed and manufactured by a brand new company especially if that also happens to be their very first product. Of course i never expect the best possible build quality and the AXIOM Pro is certainly not perfect in that aspect but still unlike 99% of the midi towers out there in the market it has a lot more to offer thanks to its innovative features. The Cyclone Dust Collector actually works as advertised (we had it almost for 20 days powered on just to see that) and whatever gets passed it is stopped by the air filters at the rear of the fans (after 20 days the dust was so little we didn't have to clean them). The top docking bay is also a great addition to the AXIOM Pro and although we've seen others before this time over your drive gets partially covered (would be nice if it was fully covered but then we'd probably have temperature issues). Now although the 4 drive bays are very easy to use they can get annoying when installing the power supply and so i do think S2 Innovation should take them back to the drawing board to see if they can resolve that issue or follow an entirely different approach. Also cable management might seem as an issue but via the positioning of the mainboard and the various hardware components along with the ability to use just one 5.25" drive it's actually not. The lack of top fan spots is the one thing i didn't really expect from the AXIOM Pro and although we all know that hot air goes upwards on its own still it's never a bad idea to help it by using one or more fans so hopefully S2 Innovation will do something about that in future revisions and/or models. Finally the headphone amplifier works as well but you need to make certain that your headset/earset can take it since low quality models will most probably suffer from audio distortion like some of the ones we used.

 

   Just like with every brand new product out there the AXIOM Pro by S2 Innovation is not widely distributed so you will not be able to find it inside the EU or the USA at this exact moment in time. However S2 Innovation has it scheduled to go live in the USA and the EU for a recommended price tag of USD120/100Euros which means that its actually quite affordable since you will probably be able to find it for less. There's not much else to say about the AXIOM Pro Midi Tower so if you'd like to own the single dust-free midi tower in the word (right now) that also comes wearing several convenient features/addons then you can't really go wrong with the AXIOM Pro and that's why it gets our Golden Award.

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PROS

- Overall Quality
- Design
- Cyclone/S-Filter Triple Filter System (Dust Free)
- Removable Dust Collection Trays
- Top 2.5"/3.5" Docking Station With Cover
- Headphone Amplifier With Digital Controls
- 2-Way Fan Speed Controller
- 3 Pre-Installed Fans
- Space For 370mm Long Graphics Cards
- External 5.25" ODB Mounting Holes
- Price (For Some)

 

 

CONS

- Single 5.25" Optical Drive Bay
- Current Availability
- Combo Drive Bays (PSU Clearance Issues)