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Akasa Tesla H Review

Akasa Tesla H Review

Manufacturer: Akasa
UK price (as reviewed): £56.26 (inc VAT) or £72 including power adaptor
US price (as reviewed): $109.99 (ex TAX)
Preferred Partner Price:
54.65 (inc VAT)

Mini computing is certainly in Intel's sights at the moment with it continuing to push its Next Unit of Computing embedded motherboards. Now in their fourth generation, the latest models are far more potent than those in the first generation (you can see here our review of the Haswell Core i5-based D54250WYB). They also now sport plenty of USB 3.0 connectivity plus SATA ports, so the scope to use a NUC as an HTPC, low-power PC or server is as strong as ever.

As we saw with the Tranquil PC Abel H2-5 NUC PC, it's also entirely possible to house these diminutive boards in fanless cases too. The Abel H2-5 was a solid lump of aluminium, and while it was attractive, cooling-wise it's surface area was actually fairly small, although it did just about keep pace with the temperatures, even in an enclosed space.

We've looked at several of Akasa's fanless cases over the last 12 months or so, and they include both mini-ITX and NUC variants. The Tesla H is it's latest model that is designed specifically for the D54250WYB and D34010WYB NUC motherboards. It's a little longer than the Tranquil PC Abel H2-5 at 240mm but is just 48mm high and includes a much more elaborate array of heatsinks.

Akasa Tesla H Review
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It's extremely well-machined and feels very solid. The sides and top are riddled with small heatsinks to increase the surface area - there's considerably more on offer here than the Abel H2-5 too.

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Akasa is gradually ramping up the external features of these fanless cases and there's now a headphone jack in addition to two USB 3.0 ports and an IR port. Additional bits that could really make the difference here for the HTPC fraternity are things like a slimline optical bay - with a SATA port now included on the NUC, there's plenty of possibilities here too.

Akasa Tesla H Review
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The underside is fairly featureless as it's a fanless case so there's no need for dust filters. However, there are four VESA mount ports so you can secure the case to compatible monitors - highly useful for street-side businesses and offices where tower PCs or even net tops can get in the way. The rear of the case sports three antenna holes for WiFi modules plus a Kensington lock and two serial port openings as well as the standard D54250WYB board ports such as mini HDMI and Ethernet.

Akasa Tesla H Review Akasa Tesla H Review
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As we saw with the Abel H2-5, some measures are being taken to deal with overheating mSATA SSDs. Akasa's method isn't quite as elegant but it will do the job courtesy of large thermal pads that connect the SSD to the base of the case, with the motherboard being mounted with the CPU attached to the heatsink-clad roof.

Akasa Tesla H Review Akasa Tesla H Review
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The motherboard is screwed into place using standoffs, with a long strip running down the inside to make direct contact with the CPU. It's a very easy installation, just requiring the use of thermal paste and four screws. Cables include a headphone jack to connect the on-board sound to the external minijack, power and LED connectors as per normal for a case, plus two USB 3.0 male connectors to use two of the board's USB 3.0 ports for the front panel.

Specifications
  • Dimensions (mm) 240 x 150 x 48 (W x D x H)
  • Material Aluminium
  • Available colours Black
  • Weight 1.2kg
  • Front panel 2 x USB 3, Power, headphone minijack
  • Drive bays 2 x 2.5in
  • Form factor(s) Intel NUC D54250WYB or D34010WYB
  • Cooling passive radiator (CPU)
  • Extras VESA mounting holes, thermal paste, 120W external power adaptor (more expensive model)