When I first received the H210i, I was excited to see what improvements NZXT had made as I do rather enjoy building in their cases. When I unpacked the case and saw how small it was I had a good reason for panic as I looked at my hands and realized my hand with fingers extended can eclipse over 70% of the rear I/O and 50-60% of the large main panels. I immediately felt a sense of dread at the thought of working in such tight confines.
Much to my appreciation, the H210i was not super hard to work in, except for having to pull the front radiator tray to maneuver the GPU into place as it was a bit too close to get it past the tubes with the small space between the GPU end and the radiator.
Thermally the H210i did very well as it comes preinstalled with dual 120mm exhaust fans and with the dual radiator fans pulling air into the chassis it kept things cool with CPU averaging T of 47.3C over ambient. The GPU topped out at a T of 57.8C over ambient which is similar to what I have seen with the same card in another more sizeable chassis. The H210i from NZXT has passing thermal results, I would be interested to see how one of the thicker multi fan AIB GPUs would breathe in this chassis, and if I get the chance, I may test that later to see how well that PSU shroud ventilation works.
Cases are always interesting as a lot comes down to experience building and personal style. With that being said, some of the things I liked about the H210i would be the fact that it is a diminutive footprint yet can house massive horsepower and cool it effectively. The fact that the front can be removed and the cooling tray pops out easily to not only maintain but install needed parts with an even freer open space to work within.
The new smart device is nice and very responsive although I prefer default white lighting it was set at as it gave just enough light to highlight the system without blasting it with odd colors or throwing off the flow of the other devices. The preinstalled fans ramped with heavy system load but never reached a level which was annoying or even noticeable at a reasonable usage distance of a few feet.
There's not a ton that I do not like about the H210i, but there are some areas I would like to see improved. Firstly to nobodies surprise it's the waste of internal connectivity. With the standard H200i, we had dual top Type-A ports which used the entire 20-pin connector so that I can excuse NZXT using the USB 2.0 header for the smart device. But in the case of the H210i, we now have a separate connector for the Type-C port and only half of each the USB 2.0 and USB 3.2 Gen 1 connector which means two ports worth of connectivity are forfeit.
This may not be a big deal to some of you but for those who need the USB 2.0 for your AIO connection (which NZXT Kraken AIO's use USB 2.0) you would be out of luck with the H210i without purchasing a USB 2.0 hub separately to ensure you could split the connector to other devices which mean more cable clutter where the USB 2.0 for the smart device would have used the other side of the 20-pin connector. I'm not going to beat NZXT over the head for this, but it did have to be mentioned.
With everything we observed and mentioned in this review, does the H210i stand up to the challenge and win over a recommendation to earn your hard-earned cash? Well, I would have to say yes, there are not many cases that have the features we have seen today, the only one that comes close in my mind would be the aging Phanteks Enthoo Evolve ITX which does not have the same blank slate aesthetic, smart controller or ARGB lighting. What the Evolve does have is dual 120 mounting at the top and front. So with that being considered, the H210i has a lot going for it and deserves a recommendation.
While some areas can be improved, NZXT made one hell of a potent ITX case in the H210i!
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I Gaming (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Reeven NAIA 240 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Kingston HyperX Predator RGB - HX429C15PB3AK2/16
- Video Card: NVIDIA TITAN Xp Collectors Edition - Galactic Empire Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Gold (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
NZXT made some great improvements in the H series and with the H210i. There are some things that could be improved but overall its one of the best ITX options in the category and price range.