There’s no denying that a good PC case can help make your PC components last longer. So, regardless if you just shove your PC case under your desk or put it on a display case on your desk as the main attraction, you’ll want to pick the most appropriate one for your lifestyle.
Regular PC cases last for a couple of years, depending on how they are designed. Some do well when placed stationary on a desk while other computer cases are made for people who travel frequently or move from one LAN party to another. This is why we specifically came up with the best portable PC cases if you value portability over any other aspects.
Why Get a Portable Case?
Regular PC cases are exceptional, but a portable case can hold your PC components better while making travel more convenient.
If you travel frequently or join LAN parties with friends on the weekends, consider getting a portable and compact PC case. It makes transportation easy and gives you a sense of security that your PC components are safe.
But not all portable cases are the same. Other options in the market focus more on portability rather than aesthetics, and vice versa. Other builders use a compact PC case to achieve a somewhat intimidating theme due to its unique features and design.
Regardless, all portable PC cases offer similar features. This is why many are confused about how to pick the best one.
In the next section, we’ve rounded up the best portable PC cases to narrow down your selection right away. Moreover, we’ve also included a brief-but-detailed buying guide to help you become a responsible and well-informed buyer.
|Model||Dimensions||Motherboard||Front/Top Ports||CPU Cooler Height / GPU Card Length||Fans and Cooling|
|COUGAR Panzer Max||556 mm x 264 mm x 612 mm||Mini ITX / Micro ATX / ATX / CEB / L-ATX / E-ATX ( E-ATX upto 12″x11″ )||2 × USB 3.0 / 2 × USB 2.0 / 1 × Mic / 1 × Audio / Fan Controller||170 mm / 390 mm||8|
|Cooler Master Q300P||508 mm x 279 mm x 533 mm||Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX||2 × USB 3.0 / Audio In & Out||157.5 mm / 360 mm||6|
|Lian Li TU150||203 mm x 312 mm x 375 mm||Mini-ITX||2x USB3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type C, Audio ports||165 mm / 320 mm||4|
|Cooler Master HAF XB Evo||442 mm x 330 mm x 423 mm||ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX||2x USB 3.0, Audio In & Out||180 mm / 334 mm||4|
|Nanoxia RexGear 2||280 mm x 380 mm x 350 mm||Micro ATX, Mini-ITX||2 × USB 3.0 / Audio In & Out||187 mm / 345 mm||6|
|Cooler Master MC500||235 mm x 548 mm x 512 mm||ATX, E-ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX||2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, Audio in / out||190 mm / 412 mm||6|
|In Win D-Frame mini-ITX||405 mm x 230 mm x 501 mm||Mini-ITX||2x USB 3.0, 1x Audio-in, 1x Audio-out||165 mm / 340 mm||2|
Best Portable PC Case with Handles
|Cougar Panzer Max|
|Cooler Master MasterBox Q300P|
|Lian Li TU150|
|Cooler Master HAF XB Evo|
|Nanoxia RexGear 2|
|Cooler Master MC500|
|In Win D-Frame Mini-ITX Steel Tube|
1. Cougar Panzer Max
Dimensions: 556 mm x 264 mm x 612 mm | Motherboard: Mini ITX / Micro ATX / ATX / CEB / L-ATX / E-ATX ( E-ATX upto 12″x11″ ) | Front Ports: 2 × USB 3.0 / 2 × USB 2.0 / 1 × Mic / 1 × Audio / Fan Controller | CPU Cooler Height: 170 mm | Graphics Card Length: 390 mm | Fans and Cooling: 8
One of the best portable PC cases around is, without a doubt: the Cougar Panzer Max. The Panzer Max has plenty of features aimed towards portability with security and expandability in mind.
This case replicates the durability and capability of a military tank. From the outside, it has a very aggressive design that also does other things as well.
Most of the things you’ll find on the outside are designed to achieve flexibility; that’s because not only do they make transportation easy, but they can also be used to hold your gaming peripherals such as the keyboard and headset. But the main “handles” or inlets for gripping for transportation can be found on the sides.
Having covered the outsides, let’s see what’s under the hood. This full tower case fan has a generous space inside enough to support E-ATX motherboards. On top of having three pre-installed case fans, it can support a total of up to 8 fans, and a full-size graphics card up to 390mm.
If you’re planning to use radiators, this can hold up to two 360mm radiators on both the front and top sides of the case. You can also count on the cable management section inside as it’s large enough to keep the looks clean when viewed from the outside via the tempered glass panel.
You can hook up all of your peripherals on the front of the panel as it can accommodate two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. This addition makes it convenient for constant movers and active LAN party-goers since you won’t have to worry about wires on the back.
Lastly, you don’t need to bring screwdrivers, as this case features a full tool-less design. If there’s a downside that you should know about the case, it’s the weight. But considering all the things the case has to offer, it’s worth investing.
2. Cooler Master MasterBox Q300P
Dimensions: 508 mm x 279 mm x 533 mm | Motherboard: Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX | Front Ports: 2 × USB 3.0 / Audio In & Out | CPU Cooler Height: 157.5 mm | Graphics Card Length: 360 mm | Fans and Cooling: 6
Unlike other regular gaming PC cases, this one has a complete square design that serves two purposes: convenience and outstanding airflow.
The case has an ergonomic design that allows you to carry this around with ease. Also, it comes with the same design on the bottom, making it possible to carry this from either end, even when it’s upside down.
But you will not want to do that if you’re planning on using an AIO cooler for your CPU or your GPU. Now, if you think that the handles are on the way, you can choose to remove them.
People who choose to get this case will be lucky enough to get two 120 mm RGB high-performance fans, one RGB controller, and a splitter along with their purchase. But don’t worry, the setup is friendly enough for new users who are new to RGB lighting and whatnot.
What makes this even better is that it has got a modular I/O panel that you can use to set it to six different locations on both sides of the case. This allows you to conveniently set the ports depending on which area or side you want your USB 3.0 and audio parts to be facing.
Inside you’ll find it spacious enough to hold a micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards. You can also fit a 2.5″ and a 3.5″ storage drive inside. It can also support a graphics card up to 360 mm long and a CPU cooler of 157 mm tall.
If you’re planning to use radiators, you can fit a 240 mm inside. The cable routing is also spacious enough to ensure you can see a clear set up inside the case through the transparent side panel. Because it’s relatively cheaper than our top pick, plenty of users choose to get this over our top pick.
3. Lian Li TU150
Dimensions: 203 mm x 312 mm x 375 mm | Motherboard: Mini-ITX | Top Ports: 2x USB3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type C, Audio ports | CPU Cooler Height: 165 mm | Graphics Card Length: 320 mm | Fans and Cooling: 4x 120 mm
The first thing you’ll notice about the Lian Li Tu150 is that it comes with a clean design. At the bottom of the case, you’ll find the logo with a distinct color that compliments the overall look.
More specifically, the case has a retractable handle at the top of the case, making transportation convenient. In terms of durability and reliability, it’s sturdy enough and can be tucked conveniently into the top panel if you don’t need it.
It also comes with two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, and audio ports. Generally, the outside of the case has an excellent stylish build, but the real deal can is present or found inside the case.
The case is smaller than the first two, which explains why it can only support a mini-ITX and mini-DTX form factor motherboards. Even though it’s small, it has a decent airflow inside if you fill all the case fan slots. You can install one 120 mm fan at the front and the rear, as well as two 120mm fans at the bottom.
Moreover, you can also put either one 3.5″ hard drive and one 2.5″ SSD drive or two 2.5″ SSDs inside. Surprisingly, even though it’s small, you can fit plenty a GPU cooler with a max height of 320 mm and a CPU cooler with 165 mm max height.
Conveniently enough, the case has a tool-less feature, so it doesn’t need any screwdrivers and other tools when fitting everything in. The push pin lock mechanism makes it easy for you to install or remove components.
4. Cooler Master HAF XB Evo
Dimensions: 442 x 330 x 423 mm | Motherboard: ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX | Top Ports: 2x USB 3.0, Audio In & Out | CPU Cooler Height: 180 mm | Graphics Card Length: 334 mm | Fans and Cooling: 1x 200 mm fan, 2x 120 mm fan (or 2x 140 mm fan), 1x 120mm fan (or 2×80 mm fan), 120 mm radiator (or 240 mm radiator)
If you think you’ve already seen the Cooler Master HAF XB Evo somewhere, you might just be right. That’s because this is a case from 2013, but that doesn’t mean that it should be irrelevant at this point because it’s still better than a lot of the newer portable PC cases out there.
You see, it’s still one of the best LAN boxes you can find in 2020. It doesn’t just feature portability, but you can also use this for other purposes, such as a home theater, a test bench, or a LAN box.
There are two components inside: one for the storage devices and the PSU, and one for all your computer components such as a motherboard (up to ATX max size), CPU, RAM, and graphics card.
The case may look too compact to take all these in, but it’s spacious enough that it can still fit up to three 120 mm case fans (two at the front and one at the rear) and one 200 mm at the top. You can also put a CPU fan with up to 180 mm height, and a graphics card with up to 334 mm.
There are two built-in 120 mm XtraFlo case fans into the case, so you’ll only need to get one more to fill all the fan slots in. Alternatively, you can use a 240 mm radiator and have it installed at the front panel. But do note that the top fan does require a specific type of fan, so you might want to consider that.
Moreover, the X-dock bay can take up to four 3.5″ or 2.5″ SSD storage drives. If you don’t know what X-dock is, it’s merely Cooler Master’s drive bay that doesn’t require any tool– perfect for on-the-go users who frequently travel and join LAN parties as this lets you swap storage bays easily.
The only disappointing thing about the case is its looks. Some of you may even mistake this as a home theater system. But if you can bear the trade-off, this is another worthy consideration.
5. Nanoxia RexGear 2
Dimensions: 280 mm x 380 mm x 350 mm | Motherboard: Micro ATX, Mini-ITX | Front Ports: 2 × USB 3.0 / Audio In & Out | CPU Cooler Height: 187 mm | Graphics Card Length: 345 mm | Fans and Cooling: 6x 120 mm or 140 mm case fans (2x each at the front, top, and back); 2x 200 mm case fans (one each at the front and top)
The Nanoxia RexGear 2 is another alternative to Cooler Master’s HAF XB EVO. It’s a Micro ATX portable, easily carried PC case with handles you can grip firmly to make transportation convenient.
Compared to the HAF XB EVO, this has a better design on the outside with a notable “X” theme you can visibly see on top of the case. If black doesn’t seem attractive to you or doesn’t fit your preferred theme, then a black on white or a full black theme might. Similarly, if you’re planning to build an epic white themed computer setup, these white PC cases might just be for you.
It’s unfortunate, though, that this doesn’t have any metals as it has a full-blown plastic (including the transparent panel on the side). But since you’re going to be frequently traveling with this, it’s actually a benefit as it makes it easier to move around.
The handle is incorporated into the design to go along with the “X” mark on top of the case. It’s also where you will find the two USB 3.0 ports and the audio ports. This may be out for a while, but it still does excellently for what it’s intended for. Moreover, it competes effectively with some of today’s portable PC cases in terms of capability, durability, and flexibility.
You can fit a 240 mm radiator at the top and the front of the case to maximize airflow. Ideally, you’ll want to fill these slots as it’s small enough to accumulate heat over time easily. But despite that, it does an excellent job of keeping good airflow inside once filled.
If there’s a downside that I should mention, it’s the fact that this does have poor cable management inside, and the pre-installed fans are louder. But if you’re just here to find a more affordable portable case that’s still durable enough to take a slight beating, this is your stop.
6. Cooler Master MC500
Dimensions: 235 mm x 548 mm x 512 mm | Motherboard: ATX, E-ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Front Ports: | CPU Cooler Height: 190 mm | Graphics Card Length: 412 mm | Fans and Cooling: 6
At the front-end and the back-end part of the top case is where you’ll find the handles, which means you can carry this around either on one side or hold them simultaneously. Regardless, this design makes it easy to carry it around.
The case has a simple design that’s not as ergonomic or compact as the rest of the PC cases on the list, but it does get the job done. This is why the size can be a problem if you’re looking for a compact PC case.
If you’re not into black themes, don’t worry: it comes in several varieties with slight differences only in the design department. But do note that the chassis is plastic. Surprisingly enough, it feels durable enough to hold your components safely inside.
Since it’s large, you can guarantee it can accommodate a variety of computer component sizes. Specifically, you can use a graphics card with a maximum length of 412 mm. If you’re going to use a CPU cooler, you can install one with a maximum height of 190 mm.
Overall, this is a case that I’d recommend for people looking for a large chassis to fit all of their massive computer components.
7. In Win D-Frame Mini-ITX Steel Tube
Motherboard: 405 mm x 230 mm x 501 mm | Front Ports: 2x USB 3.0, 1x Audio-in, 1x Audio-out | CPU Cooler Height: 165 mm | Graphics Card Length: 340mm | Fans and Cooling: 2
For beginners, the In Win D-Frame Mini-ITX might look a bit strange, but it isn’t entirely new for advanced PC enthusiasts. It’s an open-air PC case with excellent airflow inside.
This is built with thick aluminum tubes with a glass panel on one side so you can show off your computer’s insides. It also makes it easy to carry around.
If you’re planning to bring this along in LAN parties, you’ll attract people due to its unique design. However, the design isn’t the only thing that’s great about this as it also has other great features.
The case can support both ATX and micro ATX sized motherboards. Since it features an open-air design, this has excellent airflow inside. But note that since it’s open, you might get regular problems with dust.
This would look great, though, if you’re going to pair this with RGB strips. Overall, it’s a great case if you’re looking for something unique that’s also portable and convenient.
Things to Look For in Portable PC Cases
At this point, you probably are still confused even though we’ve dropped our review on each portable case. That’s why we came up with this definitive buying guide section to ensure you’re getting what you need.
So, what aspects should you check to further narrow down your selection to what’s best for you?
Portable PC cases are the most preferred case type by people who travels a lot or those who regularly join LAN parties because it comes with a handle. This is why it’s crucial to choose a portable and compact PC case with a durable handle so it won’t break randomly as you move around.
Great Airflow Capability
Since you’re going to be traveling regularly, going for a water-cooled setup just isn’t going to work. You see, water-cooled systems are great at keeping temperatures low, but the slightest leak puts your computer system at risk.
Since you’re traveling and moving the case around, you don’t want this to happen, so it’s best to choose a PC case with excellent airflow design.
Do You Need A Ruggedized Design?
You don’t necessarily need a ruggedized design if you’re planning to buy a compact PC case. However, there’s also nothing wrong if you wish to get one.
A ruggedized design PC case protects everything from unwanted elements. So, unless you travel to and from a construction site or an area where there’s constant moisture, dust, fire, and other foreign debris that may damage your computer, you’re okay with any of the products on the list.
Compact & Lightweight
Weight is also an important thing you should check when choosing a portable and lightweight PC case. Although light material is usually tied to poor quality, it’s not always right to all high-end portable PC cases.
Since you’ll be carrying this around, a compact and lightweight design will be great. However, it’s also good to note all the PC components you’ll be using, as this adds up to the overall weight of the case.
Ideally, you’ll want a lighter PC case, as this makes transportation better.
Computer components inside your PC case naturally come loose because of vibration. And the risk of getting loose will be higher when you regularly carry your PC case around.
That’s why it would be great to choose a case that is designed explicitly for travel: like having the feature of securing components without a need for a screwdriver! Like PC case fans with rubber screws, other PC case fans have it.
While it’s not a hassle to always have a screwdriver with you, having this feature makes your investment worth it.
Why Should You Trust Our Roundup?
We’re a group of computer enthusiasts dedicated to helping our readers the best that we can. Over the years, we’ve experienced the struggles of buying something that’s said to be the best but actually isn’t– and we don’t want you to feel it.
That’s why we came up with roundups just like this one based entirely on our year’s worth of experience to ensure you’re getting exactly what you deserve: honest product reviews and feedback.
There you have it: our roundup of the best portable PC cases. With the help of our buying guide section above, we hope you’ll pick the most fitting one for your travel needs.
- The best we could recommend if you’re planning to purchase the a portable case would be the Cougar Panzer Max. Excellent build, excellent portability potential, and durable.
- If our top pick is too expensive, then you would love it’s cheaper alternative, the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300P. It’s already got RGB lights and an extra pair of carrying handles.
- For those looking for a transportable PC case with minimal design and whatnot, the Lian Li TU150 is a perfect option. The retractable handle makes it look it isn’t designed for portability.
- The Cooler Master HAF XB Evo is an ideal option if you’re looking for a test bench that you can carry around with ease. It’s small, has an X-dock slot for a plug-and-play storage experience with decent airflow.
- We also recommend the Nanoxia RexGear 2 if you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to the Cooler Master HAF XB Evo.
- If you’re planning to get the tallest CPU cooler or the longest GPU for your portable PC case, there’s nothing better than the Cooler Master MC500.
- We would only recommend the In Win Mini-ITX Case D-Frame if you’re looking for a unique portable case you can show off.
Which one do you think is the most appropriate for your travel needs? Tell us in the comments section!