What's on Taobao

IntoxicatedPuma

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Every month or two I go search on Taobao and take a look to see if anything new or interesting has popped up. I figured maybe I can try and keep a thread going on this with some of the stuff I have found that is CN market only.

I guess most of you know that I'm a big fan of the Sunmilo cases and also own a Primo case, so I won't go into that. However, there are some other cases I've followed for awhile, and a few new ones I've seen recently.

So how about a "What's On Taobao August 2016 Edition!"

The First one is the Hauteware Black Angel (i think thats translated right). Similar in construction to the Sunmilo, but totally encased in transparent Acrylic rather than machined aluminum.


It's a compact ITX case with a pair of 120mm fans at the bottom and a vertical oriented layout. It only takes SFX power supplies and ITX GPU's.

Another case manufacturer I've followed for awhile is CNCAXE. They don't have many reviews so I get the impression they don't build very many, or maybe it was a one off case made for show. They have a three cases that I found a bit eye catching.

First is an mATX case with 5 PCI slots, ATX power supply.


2nd is an ITX HTPC with dual low profile PCI slots and Plex power supply.



The last is available in two forms, one with room for a 3.5 drive and the other without.


Starting with some new ones I've found today:

First is HuaYang (not sure the meaning, it's the same as the town I live in).

Can't tell if the first is a mod or a custom designed case, but it's from a couple years ago.
https://www.chiphell.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=974730

Second is a very compact ITX case with Asus ROG styling



I posted a couple weeks ago that Jonsbo had released a vertical ITX case, the Jonsbo VR1. Well, now they have an mATX version, the VR2.

They also have a new ATX RM4. I was hoping this would be a re-design of the super compact RM2, but seems this one is much bigger.


In Win also has a new ITX case, the "Diva" - it looks like a remake of some of their BM series, just new styling. I hope they can give this case the Chopin styling.
Single PCI slot and internal power supply. 5.25 bay and single 80mm fan.


Next is a new brand I hadn't seen before called AW. The first one looked like a ripoff of the NZXT H440, and the styling copies it quite a bit but the layout is much different. mATX and SFX power supply.




The 2nd was is called the 309 and comes in several color configs. It's nothing new or different, uses the same cube chassis as many other cases. The styling looks very clean and the price is low.


Another new one for today is one from PCCooler brand. I found this a couple months ago but never posted it. It's a bit expensive that looks nice.


The last brand is called "Coolman" and they make some weird and kind of high end stuff.





Those are the kind of cool ones......this next one is just weird.

It seems they're a subbrand of the ICE brand, which I kind of like. They're a lot more expensive than the ICE cases however.

That's it for today! While it's true the Chinese do copy the west alot, I feel they're leading the charge recently in case design. I hope people in the West don't feel shy to take inspiration from some of their ideas!
 

Aibohphobia

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Feb 22, 2015
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I love that CNCAXE mATX case. It's a perfect example of why we're not going to use Lian Li for Cerberus, it would resemble the M1 too much :p
 

veryrarium

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I inquired CNCAXE regarding that mATX case back in March 22, 2015 via a proxy agent while I ordered a low profile heatsink from another taobao seller with the help of the same agent, and the agent got back to me saying that CNCAXE stopped making that case.

Also, In-Win Diva is a pretty old case. I remember seeing it in Akiba shops more than five years ago.
 
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confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
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Hmm, this would make for an interesting article series :p
 

IntoxicatedPuma

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ah, makes sense about the INWIN case because i have seen many like it. Its too bad about the CNCAXE case. i guess they didnt get much demand for it.
 

CC Ricers

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Pretty interesting cases. Some of these look good for a PC builder to go all mod-happy on them. It'd be different than just looking at mods of the same popular cases all the time.
 

iFreilicht

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I hope these are not unlicensed clones.
They sure as hell aren't licensed ones.

Another case manufacturer I've followed for awhile is CNCAXE. They don't have many reviews so I get the impression they don't build very many, or maybe it was a one off case made for show. They have a three cases that I found a bit eye catching.

First is an mATX case with 5 PCI slots, ATX power supply.
CNCAXE M1, huh?

The first one looked like a ripoff of the NZXT H440, and the styling copies it quite a bit but the layout is much different. mATX and SFX power supply.

Oh damn, that is a rip-off if I've ever seen one. Sure, it's not the exact same, but damn they would be sued out of business fast if they weren't sitting in China.

The 2nd was is called the 309 and comes in several color configs. It's nothing new or different, uses the same cube chassis as many other cases. The styling looks very clean and the price is low.
Very reminiscent of the Corsair Graphite 380T:



The last brand is called "Coolman" and they make some weird and kind of high end stuff.

I love the fact that they used the same internal chassis as a super-cheap case would use (you can see the cutouts and springs used for slide-on sidepanels) and then just bolted acrylic to the side and put a different kind of molded plastic around it. Looks a lot more different than other cases I've seen though.

This reminds me of something, but I can't put my finer on it. I like the style, but damn that is a large case.

Those are the kind of cool ones......this next one is just weird.
I love that one, it's super original, overdesigned and impractical, quite intriguing in a weird sort of way.
 

IntoxicatedPuma

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Since you cant really get an M1 in China, or ratjer the price would be obscenely high, i dont have a huge problem with them copying the design. But i am biased because i live here. Also its mATX and not ITX, so atleast theyre bringing something new. If what the other guy said is true, that it was out of production by mar 2015, that kind of predates M1 sales launch....

That 309 case might look somewhat similar to the corsair 380t but the interior layout has nothing in common.
 
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CC Ricers

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This reminds me of something, but I can't put my finer on it. I like the style, but damn that is a large case.
The top and bottom metal handles remind me of the 2009-12 Mac Pro. Other than that it looks quite different and I do like the style and combination with clear panels.
 

Josh | NFC

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Copying without credit and a link to the original is just low class. I'm a pretty easy going dude but when someone's art gets plagiarized it makes me upset.
 

Kmpkt

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That's pretty much all that's going on in China most of the time (I am not saying Chinese people are rip off artists by the way). I've spoken to people who've taken products to large scale production (Go Pro mounting systems), and arguably the greatest competition they end up facing is manufacturers in China ripping off their design and drop-shipping around them through avenues such as eBay and Aliexpress. Because there aren't copyright/patent/trademark laws that apply effectively in China, when my friend started getting competition from overseas it really hurt his sales. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if you see a knock off of your case sometime in the future Josh.

The one thing you can count on protecting your innovation in the western world is branding. You have to convince the consumer that your authentic product is hands-down the best and that knock offs are truly second rate and not worth having. I think you also have to convince them that the creativity and innovation that go into said product is also worth paying a premium for. Finally I think putting a face to your brand is key as people are a lot less likely to steal from a person than a corporation. The best example of this that I can think of is Apple as they use their marketing to almost celebritize their design and engineering heads, have convinced damn near everyone that their quality is truly second to none, and finally that they are "good guys" you should want to support.

I'm currently in the early stages of designing a case that will likely have a patentable feature. If I do end up patenting, I'm not going to bother doing it in North America/Europe/etc., I'll do it in China.
 
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IntoxicatedPuma

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Not to get into too much of a political rant but....

I'd like to point out these cases are only selling in the CN market, unless someone is buying them by importing them to the US or EU, it's very difficult to get them outside of mainland China.

Do I agree with Chinese copying others? No, but for many of us on the mainland we don't have access to some western products, and this is the only way to get them. I don't blame the people making these cases as much as I do politicians (mainly Chinese ones but also western ones). Sadly, the Chinese copy each other as much as they copy the West. I'd say it will be awhile before the market here is regulated enough where Western companies can compete without these kind of issues.

I think you could look at Xiaomi as an example of what the planning and future will hold:

1) Copy famous foreign companies directly and sell at a fraction of the price
2) Get customers who want to buy your cheap products, slowly build up your reputation for quality imitations
3) When the customers are wealthier and your reputation for reliability is good, start moving more upscale
4) Start creating your own designs and begin marketing product overseas.

I think China is mostly through phase 1, only a few company's do this and even in China they have a horrible reputation and are kind of considered a joke. Most company's are at phase 2 or 3. When company's start to hit Phase 4, the West will be in serious competition. Just look at what Korean and Japanese companies did to the west in the last 30 years - now imagine they're 6 times bigger.

If anything, right now we should all be thankful that the Communist Party has kept Chinese innovation suppressed for the last 70 years. Chinese companies copying with cheap knock-off's is not the threat we should be worried about. Nobody with an interest in products and the money to afford it will buy this stuff. Young chinese with new ideas, totally new way of thinking, and easy access to cheap labor and stupid amounts of cash is what we (westerners) should be afraid of.
 
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PNP

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Copying is how you expand a market quickly. Personal computing exists today because everybody and their dog copied the IBM-PC illegally. Then they started building clones that outperformed the original, also illegally (like Eagle Computer). Then started building their own machines and only retained IBM compatibility. Innovation in a capitalist system does not put value on such noble concepts as honor, which is why such artificial constraints like patent laws exist.
 
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Kmpkt

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I actually think one of the major parts of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that is supposed to be more intellectual property rights will be protected between the countries involved (of which China is one). Will be interesting to see what happens if/when the TPP is ratified.
 

iFreilicht

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I'd like to point out these cases are only selling in the CN market, unless someone is buying them by importing them to the US or EU, it's very difficult to get them outside of mainland China.
That is indeed important to note here. It's not like anyone is getting hurt. There is a very distinct negative feeling I get from seeing design-copy products like this though.
 

Kmpkt

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IP theft is IP theft. You can argue that people in China wouldn't be buying for example NCase M1 units because of the difficulty to obtain them there, but the flip side is that if Necere wanted to enter that market now he's probably already been crowded out by knockoffs.