NZXT cases always tend to look a little unusual; the Hades had a strange nose-like protrusion on its front, the Whisper has a striking angular design on its door and the Phantom was one of the first all-white cases we saw. We were a little surprised, then, when the NZXT H2 turned out to have slightly more restrained styling than its distinctive looking compatriots.
The clean, minimalist design of the H2 seems to have taken more than a little inspiration from both the Antec P-series and Fractal's Define range of cases. This isn’t a criticism however; we’ve expressed our appreciation of the sleek, elegant aesthetics of these cases in the past. The H2 isn’t just a copycat clone, though, as it has enough unique features to make it stand out in the otherwise crowded £70 - £90 segment of the case market.
First of these is the hard disk bay in the roof of the case, which can take 2.5in or 3.5in drives. The bay is accessible via a removable cover, but unfortunately doesn't support the hot swapping of disks, which limits its usefulness. Next to this hard disk caddy is an empty 140mm roof fan mount, which is covered by an external plastic blanking plate. The blanking plate is attached securely using magnets, and prevents sound from escaping from the case when the mount isn’t in use. We’ve seen this approach of covering up unused fan mounts in the past, most notably from Fractal Design, and it makes for a quieter case.
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Also useful is the three-speed fan controller located on the top front edge of the case. This can control up to 30W of fans over four channels, which should be more than enough, even if you fill all the empty fan mounts. However, the feature that elicited the most appreciative coos from the bit-tech staff was the innovative method for powering and attaching the two front intake fans.
The fans are housed in easily removable brackets, which simply clip into the front face of the case. These can be removed in their entirety, which leaves you wondering how on earth the fans are powered. Closer inspection shows that power is provided from the fan speed controller via a metal contact plate that connects the fan bracket and the case. It’s an elegant piece of design, which allows for easy removal and cleaning of the intake fans.
The H2 isn’t the largest case in the world, so it’s good to see that its internals are sensibly designed. There are plenty cable routing holes lined with rubber grommets, as well as a large cut-out behind the CPU socket to enable CPU cooler backplates to be fitted. There's a large amount of space behind the motherboard tray too, which provides a perfect place to hide thick PSU cables.
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NZXT has also taken the time to line the H2’s side panels and door with foam in an attempt to deaden noise and vibrations created inside the case. However, the foam's cheap feel makes us dubious about its effectiveness, especially when compared to the fabric-lined rubber seen on Fractal Design's cases.
Another slight niggle is the case's door. It's securely attached, but it feels light and insubstantial, making it feel cheap. This is a shame, as the door is the part of the case with which you’re likely to interact on a daily basis.
Dimensions (mm) 215 x 520 x 466mm (W x D x H)
Material Steel and plastic
Available colours Black and silver
Front panel Power, reset, 3x USB 2, 1x USB 3, stereo, microphone, fan speed controller