What just happened? Teenage Engineering, a Swedish company known for its wireless audio gear and synthesizers, is now expanding into the PC case market by launching the computer-1, a minimalistic mini-ITX aluminum case shipped as a build-it-yourself kit.
On the outside, the computer-1 can catch anyone's attention with its pure orange RAL 2004 powder-coated finish. The chrome handles allow easy transport from one place to the other with no hassle.
Measuring 170x190x322mm with handles included, the compact computer-1 was designed to occupy a small footprint on top of your desk, freeing up space for other things. Despite its size, you can still house a complete system inside it, but you'll need to consider its limitations. For example, the computer-1 only supports 2-slot GPUs up to 180mm long, 120mm tall CPU coolers, and SFX PSUs.
Besides its aesthetics, another thing that makes the computer-1 case different from others is how it's shipped. It comes as a build-it-yourself flat pack kit mostly made of 1mm aluminum panels that are "flexible enough to bend into shape, and sturdy enough to keep your components secure."
The kit comes with everything needed to build the case, including an illustrated manual showing how to assemble it and where to bend the aluminum panels. Check out the manual if you're interested in how the whole thing goes together.
Teenage Engineering's computer-1 mini-ITX case origins go back to when the company's creation. Back then, employees were trying to find a PC case suiting their needs, to no avail. So, using their own laser cutter, some 6mm high-density boards, and spray paint, they created what would become the initial prototype of the computer-1 chassis.
As their needs evolved, so did the case. The handles used in the initial prototype couldn't carry the case's weight. Moreover, the prototype was assembled using simple wooden plugs to keep it together. None of that was viable, much less for a commercial product, leading them to replace the board panels for aluminum to reduce weight and replace the plugs for a sturdier option.
The computer-1 case retails for €195. However, all units have already sold out. Those interested can leave their email, and Teenage Engineering will send notifications out when they have more in stock.