PC Components

Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket – Small but mighty?!

Inter-Tech Elektronik Handels GmbH is a company based in Germany and was founded in 1996. Since then, the main focus has been on a Europe-wide distribution of OEM and retail hardware for PC systems. Originally, the portfolio mainly included PC cases and power supplies. However, this has since been expanded to include numerous other divisions (fans, peripherals, hard drive enclosures, etc.). In June 2021, Inter-Tech has added some new products to its portfolio. One of them is the Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket case.

As you might guess from the name, the IM-1 Pocket is a small and compact case with support for µATX and ITX motherboards and plenty of room for other hardware. Due to its modular design, it also allows two different layouts with horizontal or vertical graphics card as well as an inverted setup. At a price of just under 60 euros (current: € 81.08*), the IM-1 could thus be a good and affordable entry into the world of compact cases. Whether this is really the case, you will find out in this review.

Technical details

Model: Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket
Case Type: ITX
Dimensions: 185 mm (W) x 303 mm (H) x 391 mm (D)
Weight: 5.12 kg
Material: Steel, plastic
Color: Gunmetal Grey
Front ports 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x headphone, 1x microphone
Drive bays: max. 5x 3.5″ (internal)
max. 7x 2.5″ (internal)
Expansion slots: 4x horizontal, 2x vertical
Form Factors: µATX, ITX
Ventilation: Back: 1x 80 mm
Lid: 2x 120 mm
Bottom: 2x 120 mm
Side panel: 2x 120/ 140 mm
Radiators: Side part: max. 1x 240 mm
Max. CPU cooler height: 155 mm (without side fan panel, graphics card horizontal).
88 mm (graphics card vertical)
Max. Graphics card length: 335 mm (with SFX power supply)
245 mm (with ATX power supply)
Max. Graphics card height: 4-slots (graphics card horizontal)
3-slots (graphics card vertical, without side fan panel)
Max. PSU length: 140 mm
Price: € 81.08*
Features: Dust filter, flexible layout

Scope of delivery

Inter-Tech packages the IM-1 Pocket in a plain cardboard box made of brown cardboard. On the cardboard box, all the important technical specifications, a schematic drawing and the main features have been printed in black color. Inside the packaging, Inter-Tech has wrapped the IM-1 in two blocks of soft foam and a protective cover made of fiber. The mounting accessories are in a convenient plastic box and have been placed in a niche of the foam block. The box is resealable and has been conveniently labeled with the intended use of each screw. Also included are four magnetic dust filters and detailed, illustrated assembly instructions.

Exterior impression

Inter-Tech relies on a restrained as well as timeless look for the exterior design of the IM-1 Pocket and therefore does not use tempered glass, RGB or other eye-catching design features. Thus, the front is completely made of steel and has been painted in a very dark gray. There are also a few ventilation openings on the side. The front panel can be pulled off with a strong jerk and reveals two mounting places for 2.5″ HDDs or alternative mounting points for the SFX PSU frame behind it.

If you lift your eyes and look at the lid section, you can quickly see a steel panel with vents. If you want to remove this panel, for example to attach two fans to the lid frame underneath, you only have to remove a thumbscrew at the rear end. The fan frame/HDD frame can also be removed after removing four screws. Finally, the I/O panel is found in the front lid area. There are two buttons for power and reset, two USB 3.0 ports with type A connection as well as two connections for headphones and microphone.

Like the front, both side panels are made entirely of steel and, for better ventilation of the components inside, feature large-area vents, behind each of which is a magnetic dust filter. Particularly interesting about the IM-1, however, is the tool-free removal of the side panels. This was realized via steel pins on the panels and plastic clips on the body, into which the steel pins are pressed or snap into place. This mechanism is used in the front, lid, bottom and side panels.

If you take a look at the back, you can see that the IM-1 Pocket basically supports two different layouts. Thus, you can see four reusable PCI slot bezels with horizontal orientation in the lower area and the cutout for the motherboard’s I/O shield as well as a mounting point for an 80-millimeter fan above it. However, Inter-Tech has also installed two vertical PCI slot bezels at this point at the same time. The PCIe riser cable required for operation is not included in the scope of delivery, though.

Like the lid, the bottom element is also made of solid steel and has been equipped with four sturdy plastic feet and a perforation. The case feet were painted silver and covered with a layer of rubber to reduce vibration. Analogous to the lid or the side parts, the manufacturer also relies on push pins on the base and thus enables a very easy disassembly of the steel plate. Besides a magnetic dust filter, the mounting frame for fans or data carriers is also worth mentioning at this point.

Considering the price of the IM-1 Pocket, we are very impressed so far. All components are well made and we like the high flexibility of this small tower exceptionally well. The use of push-pins to mount almost all external case parts is also a feature that even more expensive ITX cases sometimes can’t offer. Since all opposing elements are built the same way, the motherboard can also be installed inverted in the IM-1.

Internal impression

Removing all the external components, basically all that remains is a sturdy steel frame that allows easy access to the interior from almost any side. This consists of a large main chamber in which the motherboard, a power supply and a graphics card can be housed at the same time. The mainboard can be either ITX or µATX format and is mounted in the left area. In front of the main chamber there is a third mounting frame from the factory, which can be used for mounting fans or hard drives.

In the front area there is space for the power supply. If you use a SFX power supply, it can be mounted in two different positions. Either directly behind the front or on the side of the mainboard tray next to the mainboard itself. However, the latter prevents the installation of a µATX mainboard. The cage required for installation has also been equipped with cable management eyelets. If you don’t have an SFX PSU at hand, the IM-1 can alternatively swallow an ATX PSU, which is also placed directly behind the front.

Depending on the chosen fan configuration, the mounting options for data media turn out to be very extensive. The lid and base frames each have room for two 3.5″ or 2.5″ HDDs or a combination of both. The same applies to the side frame. In all three cases, however, you have to choose between data carriers and fans. Furthermore, a 3.5″ HDD can be installed on the SFX PSU frame and two 2.5″ SSDs on the front.

Where it already went flexible on the outside, Inter-Tech has strictly continued this approach on the inside as well. Due to the different layouts and power supply positions as well as the inverting option of the entire body, the IM-1 Pocket offers something for almost every taste. In addition, I also the processing inside on a high level.

System construction Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket

Now we come to the system installation. For hardware, we’re using a AMD Ryzen 7 3700X* on a Gigabyte B450I AORUS WIFI with 32GB Crucial Ballistix Sport. The Ryzen is cooled by a Noctua NH-L12 S1 Ghost and is not overclocked. A GTX 1060 6GB from Gigabyte AORUS is responsible for the image output. The power supply is handled by the fully modular Corsair SF450 Gold with an 80 Plus Gold efficiency rating. In the layout with a horizontal graphics card, the CPU cooler is also equipped with a 120-millimeter fan from Arctic.

The installation and cabling of the test system was possible without any problems. Since almost all exterior elements can be removed, access to the interior is very easy. Due to the pre-installed spacers and their special design, it was also possible to install the motherboard vertically without having to screw it down directly. The options for cable management are limited, but with just one cable tie we still managed to keep the interior quite tidy.

Due to the modular design, the hardware compatibility varies so much that even the manufacturer refers to support on its homepage if there should be any uncertainties. Basically, though, it’s safe to say that there’s 155 millimeters of space available for CPU coolers when mounted horizontally and 88 millimeters when mounted vertically on the GPU. If you also install an SFX PSU, the graphics card can be up to 335 millimeters long in both positions. However, if you mount a long ATX PSU, this value is reduced to only 245 millimeters. If you would rather install an AiO water cooler instead of an air cooler, this is also possible in the form of a 240 mm variant in the bottom (lid if inverted) or on the side.

Finally, we come to the temperatures that were reached in the Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket. During the stress test, Prime95 and FurMark were run for 15 minutes at a room temperature of 23°C. Furthermore, the test was run in three different scenarios.

Scenario
Temperature
CPU: 50% PWM (1300 rpm, 1x 92 mm, 1x 120 mm)
GPU: 50% PWM (1650 rpm)
Without fan (default configuration)
Graphics card horizontal
CPU: 90 °C
GPU: 82 °C
CPU: 50% PWM (1300 rpm, 1x 92 mm, 1x 120 mm)
GPU: 50% PWM (1650 rpm).
4x 120 mm, 50% PWM (1100 rpm)
Graphics card horizontal
CPU: 75 °C
GPU: 67 °C
CPU: 50% PWM (1300 rpm, 1x 92 mm, 1x 120 mm)
GPU: 50% PWM (1650 rpm).
4x 120 mm, 100% PWM (1100 rpm)
Graphics card horizontal
CPU: 70 °C
GPU: 64 °C

Out of the box, the IM1 Pocket comes without a fan and you notice that right away during the stress test. Without sufficient ventilation, the installed hardware almost reaches its limits. A larger CPU cooler could probably relieve the processor a bit. If additional case fans are installed in the lid and the bottom, the temperatures can be drastically reduced. The achieved values are definitely okay for a case of this size. Of course, a larger tower cooler or an AiO water cooling system will help here as well.

Conclusion on the Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket

Now let’s move on to the final conclusion. Inter-Tech has impressed us greatly with the IM-1 Pocket overall. It was well thought out and has a good build quality despite the relatively low price. The use of steel instead of aluminum makes it possible. These points are then joined by the high flexibility in terms of possible hardware or their form factors, the four magnetic dust filters and the ingenious implementation of the base/cover/side panel mounting via steel push pins. This feature not only allows quick access to the innards but also an inverted layout of the body. Thus, the IM-1 can be placed on the left or right side of the desk without any problems.

If you want to look for negative aspects, then this is almost complaining on a high level. For example, Inter-Tech omits fans and a PCIe riser cable for vertical GPU mounting ex works. Furthermore, there would definitely have been enough room for a 92-millimeter fan at the back and an alternative variant with tempered glass would certainly have found buyers as well.

All in all, you shouldn’t forget the price of the IM-1 Pocket. With € 81.08 it is partly much cheaper than the competition and offers the same or even more features. If you don’t want to have the smallest or lightest aluminum case at any price and instead value high flexibility and compatibility, you’ll do everything right with the Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket, in our opinion!

Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket

Workmanship
Structure
Features
Cooling
Value for money

91/100

Despite the low price, the Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket offers a high build quality and good equipment as well as a very flexible layout and high hardware compatibility. However, you have to do without aluminum and a particularly compact build of less than 15 liters.

Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket price comparison


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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Inter-Tech Elektronik Handels GmbH is a company based in Germany and was founded in 1996. Since then, the main focus has been on a Europe-wide distribution of OEM and retail hardware for PC systems. Originally, the portfolio mainly included PC cases and power supplies. However, this has since been expanded to include numerous other divisions … (Weiterlesen...)

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