NZXT released this week a new mid-tower case, the H2, with very sober looks yet with very interesting features. Let’s take an in-depth look at it.
The H2 is available in two colors, black or white. We reviewed the black version.
As mentioned, the H2 has a very sober, professional looks.
The front panel is protected with a door. Fortunately the buttons and connectors of the case were placed on its top panel, so you don’t need to open the door to turn the computer on or to install a USB device, which would be really annoying. The door is secured to the main body through two strong magnets, and it is very unlikely that the door will open during transportation.
[nextpage title=”The Front Panel”]
In Figure 4, you see the front panel with the door opened. The door has a foam pad to reduce the noise produced by the computer, which is a nice touch. The front panel has three 5.25” bays, and the bay covers have a very interesting latch mechanism. The bay covers aren’t meshed, and it wouldn’t make sense if they were, since we have a door covering the bays.
The case has, however, two rifle bearing 120 mm fans (1,200 rpm, NXZT DF1202512RFLN, which is actually manufactured by a company called “Xin Changfeng Electronics Co, Ltd”), and there are air openings at the bottom and at the sides of the door, so air can enter the case. Both fans have air filters that are easy to remove and wash, and they use a “quick connect” mechanism, meaning that you can remove them without the need to remove their power connectors.
Figure 5: Front panel with one of the fans removed
Figure 6: One of the front fans
[nextpage title=”The Top Panel”]
In Figure 7, you can see the top panel of the H2. There are lots of features here. Let’s first start talking about the buttons and connectors available. There are three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port and a single-channel, three-step fan controller. All fans are connected to this controller, and it has two additional connectors for you to also install the optional top and bottom fans to it.
Figure 8: Buttons and connectors
There is an external 3.5” hard drive docking bay, which also fits 2.5” devices. The cool thing about this bay is that it is covered by a removable lid (see Figure 7), so you can actually hide your storage device instead of having it exposed like what happens with other cases that have an external docking bay.
You can install an optional 140 mm fan on the top panel, but what is really unique about this case is that if you don’t have this fan installed, you can use a cover to close the fan mesh (compare Figure 7 to Figure 10). This cover is installed to the case using magnets, so you don’t need to remove or add screws when deciding whether you want it installed or not.
Figure 10: Mesh for optional 140 mm fan
[nextpage title=”The Bottom and Rear Panels”]
The bottom panel, seen in Figure 11, has a big air filter, which is removable from the rear panel. This filter covers the meshes available for the power supply fan and the optional 120 mm bottom fan.
The rear panel and the interior of the NZXT H2 are painted black. The power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case, and it comes with seven expansion slots, all protected with meshed slot covers. There are two holes with rubber covers for passing hoses of liquid cooling solutions. The rear fan is identical to the one used on the front panel. The blue cable is the USB 3.0 cable that must be installed on an available USB 3.0 port from the motherboard rear panel.
Let’s now take a look inside the NZXT H2.[nextpage title=”Inside the NZXT H2″]
Both panels of the H2 are fastened to the case using black thumbscrews. Both side panels have a sheet of foam attached to them in order to reduce the noise level produced by the computer.
Figure 13: Each side panel has a foam sheet attached
The motherboard tray has a hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case. The motherboard tray also has several
holes for you to route cables behind it (two of them are protected by rubber covers) and metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties.
Figure 15: A view behind the motherboard tray
In Figure 16, you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened to the case using black thumscrews. The H2 supports video cards up to 12.2” (310 mm) long, if you remove the hard drive bay right in front of it, or up to 10.6” (270 mm) long, if you don’t.
Note that the power supply can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it.
The case supports an optional 120 mm fan on its bottom panel.
Figure 17: Power supply compartment
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The NZXT H2 has three 5.25” external bays and eight (yes, eight) internal 3.5”/2.5” bays. Since we also have the external 3.5” bay on the top panel, we can have up to nine hard drives or SSD units installed!
All bays feature tool-less installation mechanisms, but 2.5” devices must be installed using regular screws. Each 3.5”/2.5” bay is a small drawer, featuring anti-vibration rings. You can add a thumbscrew to each drawer if you want to make sure that it won’t move during transportation. Thumbscrews are available installed along the hard drive cage, which is a very nice way to store screws.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specs for the NZXT H2 case include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC)
- Power supply: Doesn’t come with the product
- Available colors: Black or white
- Side panel: Solid
- Dimensions: 18.3 x 8.5 x 20.5 inches (466 x 215 x 520 mm) (H x W x D)
- Net weight: 21 lbs (9.4 kg)
- Gross weight: 23.5 lbs (10.8 kg)
- Bays: Three external 5.25” bays, eight internal 3.5”/2.5” bays and one 3.5”/2.5” external bay with hot-swap connectors
- Expansion slots: Seven
- Maximum video card length: 12.2” (310 mm), if you remove the hard drive bay right in front of it, or 10.6” (270 mm) long, if you don’t
- Maximum CPU cooler height: NA
- Fans: Two 120 mm fans on the front panel (1,200 rpm) and one 120 mm fan on the rear panel
- Optional fans: One 140 mm fan on the top panel and one 120 mm fan on the bottom panel
- Extra features: Single-channel, three-speed fan controller
- More Information: https://www.nzxt.com
- MSRP in the US: USD 100
Although at first its overall looks may not impress, a closer look reveals that the NZXT H2 is a winner, with lots of impressive features.
- The front door uses strong magnets
- Supports up to eight hard drives or SSD units, one of them being an external dock with hot-swap connectors
- All hard drive bays support 2.5” devices
- Tool-less mechanisms on all drive bays
- Cover for the external storage dock
- Magnetic lid to cover the top mesh
- Front fans with quick release mechanisms and air filters
- Noise dampening foams at the front door and side panels
- Removable air filter on the bottom panel
- Thumbscrews for fastening expansion cards
- Meshed slot covers
- Hole in the motherboard tray to access the backplate of the CPU cooler
- Holes to route cables behind the motherboard tray
- Fan speed controller
- Rubber rings to reduce hard drive vibration
- None that we could find
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