LAN parties were considered a thing of the past but now they’re back. Sure, they’re not as popular as DreamHack in 2013 when they were large events anymore with dozens of people gathering to play their favorite multiplayer titles.
Instead, LAN parties in 2020 are more casual with some friends getting together to either relive their youth or to experience the latest Destiny 2 raid together. If you’re one of those people and if you’re not bothering with a gaming laptop that probably means your gaming PC gets carried around pretty often.
Either way there’s some that can make your life much easier when it comes to traveling with your gear: a computer case with handles.
Best Portable PC Cases with Handles – Our Picks
|Best Full-Tower ATX Case with Handles||COUGAR Panzer Max|
|Best Mid-Tower ATX Case with Handles||Cooler Master MasterCase MC500Mt|
|Best Micro-ATX Case with Handles||Cooler Master MasterBox Q300P|
|Nanoxia Rexgear 2 Limited Edition|
|Best Mini-ITX Case with Handles||Lian Li TU-150WX|
|Best Slim Mini-ITX Case with Handles||SilverStone ML08|
Who needs a PC case with handles?
These portable PC cases are great for modern LAN parties, but that’s not the only thing they’re made for. They’re great for people who move often. Of those who live at multiple places. College students going home for summer also know how handy is to have a PC case with a handle.
If both you and your partner are gamers, having a portable case is great for spending weekends together. If you’re not living together, of course. Or maybe you want to have a portable PC case, just in case.
Whatever is your reason for getting a PC case with handles, you need to look for certain features. Since these are portable cases, some features are essential to have.
Let’s explain which features to look for and… let’s talk about stuff you shouldn’t use in a portable, LAN party PC case.
What to look for in PC cases with handles
Unlike silent PC cases, portable cases aren’t a separate category. You only get models with handles and that’s pretty much it. But there are some features that you should look for if you need a LAN case.
Stuff like the tool-less design to install storage drives without hassle or secure them in place after you arrive at your destination. Or low weight and small size so you can carry the case around easier. Let’s talk in detail about different features.
Handle it with care
Yes, the handle. This is the only must-have feature in any portable PC case. There’s a fairly large number of computer cases with handles so you should find one in any size. Most of them are mini ITX cases with handles but you can also find regular (midi tower) and full-tower models.
Anyway, if you want a portable desktop case, get on with a handle attached. It makes moving much easier, even if you only move it around the room. You can install a PC case handle yourself, but that’s a pretty complex mod and it requires lots of time and skill. It’s better just to get a regular PC case with handles which are, you know, prebuilt.
This is a general feature that’s good to have in any PC case. You want a case with solid airflow. One that has lots of prebuilt fans or slots to install additional fans. Just look for PC case reviews. The best sources are Anandtech, Tech PowerUp, Gamers Nexus, KitGuru, or Guru3D. On the other side, if you want a mini-ITX portable case, great airflow shouldn’t be your main concern.
Air cooling is the way to go
If you’re a liquid cooling fan (pun intended), tough luck. You simply don’t want a liquid-cooled PC if you’re planning on moving it around frequently. Liquid cooling systems cost more and are much harder to maintain. Also, liquid cooling can be messy and it carries lots of risks with it.
Carrying your PC case around means lots of risks for a liquid cooling system. Even if it’s strapped to a car seat one larger bump or a couple of potholes could lead to a leak. And believe us, you don’t want to get a leak that will spill water all over your PC during transport.
Besides, liquid cooling setups can be louder than air coolers. And they aren’t always better at cooling the PC compared to air coolers. In the end, we cannot recommend installing a liquid cooling system in your portable computer case. It’s fragile and too big of a risk during transport.
This is a must-have if you want to get a PC case with handles. Constantly moving the case around means storage drives could get loose. It’s better to be able to secure them without any tool than to always carry a screwdriver with you.
Ruggedized computer cases aren’t a niche on their own. Instead of looking for a rugged PC case, it’s better to read reviews of regular portable cases. See if reviews mention any construction deficiencies. Or the glass getting shattered without strong force being applied to it. Anything that could hint the case isn’t well built.
Best Portable PC cases in all sizes
Now, let’s talk about actual cases. We picked 2 ATX, 2 m-ATX, and two portable mini-ITX case models that are the best of the best. While it’s recommended for a portable PC case to be lightweight you won’t lose much with a full tower case. Yes, it can be heavy as hell but you’ll be able to carry it around for a couple of minutes even if it’s heavy as hell.
Best ATX cases with handles
Let’s start with ATX cases. They are large, heavy, and can fit almost anything. Also, there are some full ATX computer tower cases with handles. Let’s check out our picks.
COUGAR Panzer Max
|Case Type||Full Tower|
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||556 x 264 x 612 mm (21.9 x 10.4 x 24.1 inches)|
|Storage Slots||2 × 3.5”
4+2 × 2.5”
2 × 5.25”
|Total Fan Support||8|
|Front I/O Panel||2 × USB 3.0 / 2 × USB 2.0 / 1 × Mic / 1 × Audio / Fan Controller|
|Max Graphics Card Length||390 mm|
The COUGAR Panzer Max is an excellent portable case. It’s built like a tank. It can take a bunch of storage drives along with full-size graphics cards (up to 390mm). It supports E-ATX motherboards. It comes with 3 preinstalled fans and supports up to eight fans in total. You also get two slots for 5.25” devices.
Next, we have great support for water cooling radiators. You can install up to two 360mm radiators on the top and at the front side. Cable management is top-notch. The front panel offers 2 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2 ports. This is great for constant movers since they can attach all peripherals on the front panel. The case also has a headphone hook and a cool case fan control at the front. Finally, you can carry your keyboard by placing it at the top of the case.
Finally, the case features a full tool-less design. This is one of the best portable computer cases around. It’s huge. It has large handles. It comes with a bunch of features. And it looks excellent. Downsides are large size, weight, and design that could be too aggressive for some. On the other hand, the price, and everything else, is amazing.
Cooler Master MasterCase MC500Mt
|Case Type||Mid Tower|
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||574 x 242 x 544 mm (22.60 x 9.53 x 21.42 inches)|
|Storage Slots||4 × 2.5”/3.5”
1 × 2.5”
2 × 5.25”
|Total Fan Support||6|
|Front I/O Panel||3 × USB 3.0 / 1 × USB 3.1 Type-C / Audio In&Out (supports HD Audio) / Fan Speed & RGB control buttons|
|Max Graphics Card Length||412 mm (without 3.5" HDD cage), 296 mm (with 3.5" HDD cage)
The Cooler Master MasterCase MC500Mt is another excellent portable ATX case. This time, we are dealing with a mid-tower model. It isn’t a full tower case but it supports E-ATX motherboards. Just note that installing an E-ATX motherboard means covering most cable management holes. Design is modern and isn’t as aggressive as is the case with Cougar Panzer Max Ultimate. We like the design a lot. Black metal with red details hits the bullseye.
But this isn’t just a pretty housing for your PC. On top, you have a large handle along with a stacked front panel. Three USB 3.0 ports along with one USB C, fan and LED controllers, and audio jacks. You can customize the case whichever you like thanks to the Free Form modular system. Tool-less design allows for easy installation of storage devices and simple removal of panels.
Colling-wise, there’s plenty of options. Support for 360mm water cooling radiator on the front and up to 280mm on the topside. The case comes with 3 preinstalled fans and supports up to 6 fans in total. Downsides are poor quality of preinstalled fans, not great cable management, and relatively high price.
Best Micro ATX cases with handles
Cooler Master MasterBox Q300P
The Cooler Master MasterBox Q300P mainstream portable micro ATX case with the price being its biggest strength. Aside from its affordable price, the Q300P looks quite attractive. The minimalistic design with symmetric handles that serve as stands at the bottom leaves a strong first impression. Add to that 2 preinstalled RGB fans at the front and you got yourself one pretty micro ATX case with handle. You also get one preinstalled fan on the back.
Specs-wise, there’s a lot to like for the price. Solid cable management. Support for up to 6 fans. 3 storage drive bays. Front I/O port is average, with 2 USB 3.0 ports and good old audio in/out jacks. Liquid cooling support is also average at best. You can install one 240mm radiator at the rear side. Top and frontside support only 120mm radiators.
Other downsides include not so great airflow and poor quality of preinstalled fans. On the other hand, this is a great micro ATX LAN case. It weighs in a bit over 5 kg, has two sturdy handles, and is super portable due to its small size.
Nanoxia Rexgear 2 Limited Edition
|Case Type||Micro ATX
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||418 x 280 x 412 mm (16.45 x 11.02 x 16.22 inches)|
|Storage Slots||1 × 5.25”
3 × 3.5”
5 × 2.5”
|Total Fan Support||6|
|Front I/O Panel||2 × USB 3.0 / Audio In & Out|
|Max Graphics Card Length||320 mm without front fan removed, 345 mm with front fan removed
The Nanoxia Rexgear 2 is another affordable Micro ATX portable case with handles. It’s smaller than Cooler Master MCB Q300P and it’s a perfect mATX LAN case. A small footprint combined with low weight makes it extremely portable. Despite its small size, the Rexgear 2 is packed with features. You get two sturdy handles at the top. They look like they can take lots of weight. The case comes with two preinstalled fans. One 140mm on the back and a huge, 200mm fan at the front. The case has support for up to 6 fans.
The front panel contains 2 USB 3.0 ports along with audio jacks. You also get a fan controller. The side panel has a small transparent cutout but that’s okay with a case as small as this one. You can install up to 8 storage devices. Out of that, there’s room for 5 2.5” devices, which is incredible for a small case like this one.
Liquid cooling support is limited. There’s space for one 240mm radiator at the top and front and one 140mm at the back. Also, note that max GPU length is 320mm if you use the front fan. Despite its size, the Nanoxia Rexgear 2 has fairly good airflow. Downsides include poor cable management, loud pre-installed fans, and short front panel connectors. Also note that, in case you use a mATX Mobo, cable management cutouts will be completely covered by the motherboard.
Best Mini-ITX cases with handles
Lian Li TU-150WX
The Lian Li TU-150WX is a sleek mini-ITX carrying case. You can retract the handle into case making it look minimalist when placed under the desk. The side panel is completely transparent and easy to remove since the case features tool-less design. The small size supports even the biggest CPU coolers so feel free to install high-end gaming processors.
There’s room for up to 4 fans but you don’t get any pre-installed fans. Water cooling support is next to none. There’s room for one 120mm radiator on the rear and that’s it. The case supports 2 2.5” or one 2.5” and one 3.5″ storage device. Max GPU length is 320mm. The front panel comes with 2 x USB 3.0, audio jacks, and a USB C port, which is always welcome.
Lian Li TU-150WX is an extremely portable MITX case so it’s expected to come with limited liquid cooling support. Airflow also could’ve been better. Other downsides are the inadequate size of cable management cutouts and narrow space behind the motherboard for cables. At least you get additional space at the top for cable management. But if you’re into portable mini ITX cases with handles, this is one of the best choices.
We reserved one uniquely looking case for the end of this coverage, the SilverStone ML08. If you want a portable mini ITX case that looks like Agent 47’s briefcase, check out this one. This is a portable PC case with a handle that takes little to no space. Its slim profile means building the PC will be a pain but that’s the trade-off if you want a mini ITX case that can be carried anywhere.
The good news is that airflow is pretty solid for a case like this. The GPU has a separate compartment with great airflow. CPU also has apt room to breathe. On the other side, you don’t have room for extra fans. Cable management is also pretty poor. There’s room for 2 2.5” storage devices, which is solid for an M-ITX case. The max GPU length is 330mm, which is great. Another nice touch is the tool-less design. The handle at the top is extra sturdy and it looks indestructible. The hidden front panel houses 2 x USB 3.0 porta alongside the usual audio jacks.
The SilverStone ML08 is an intelligently designed m-ITX case with a focus on portability and small footprint. It looks excellent, it features solid airflow, and is made for those who carry their PC around frequently. Downsides in the form of zero fans, no liquid cooling support, and plain bad cable management are fair tradeoffs for benefits it offers. In other words, this is one of the best portable PC cases around.