It took me roughly five hours from start to finish to complete the install. This did include some extra time involved in assembling and leak-testing the water cooling loop, however the H2gO is still without a doubt the most labor intensive case I have ever used. It is definitely not your typical tower case, with tool-less riser slots and snap-on drive rails. There are extra steps involved and components must be installed in a certain order, or you'll find yourself pulling pieces back out in order to undo something you did earlier. The next revision of this chassis should alleviate some of that headache by allowing the 5¼" devices and power supply to be removed and replaced without having to pull out the motherboard tray. But even so, something simple like installing a new drive will involve disconnecting and pulling the whole cluster out in order to attach it to the brackets, then reinstalling the cluster back into the case and hooking everything back up. If you regularly find yourself swapping out components or upgrading your hardware, this is probably not the best case for you.
That said, I still think the H2gO is an awesome case that lends credence to Mountain Mods outstanding reputation. The uniqueness of their designs is impressive and the quality of their product ranks among the top case manufacturers. While there were a few imperfections to be found with our review sample, Mountain Mods was quick to clarify that this is not typical of the stuff that goes out to their customers. That being the case, the paint job on the H2gO is extremely durable, looks great and is undoubtedly easy to maintain. Powder coating definitely provides a superior finish compared to that of a normal spray job. The fitment of the panels is good and despite being able to disassemble nearly the entire chassis, once everything is reattached the case does not feel flimsy in any way. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with how many screws are used to hold the pieces together, which does make it a pain to take parts off and put them back on, but if you have no reason to open the case up frequently then this will not be an issue.
I found the H2gO to be a little cramped, especially in the lower chamber, however this was hardware coming from a full tower case so the loss of some real estate is to be expected. Mountain Mods does advertise this case for the enthusiast on the go, hence the H2gO name. Although it is much smaller in size than their other offerings, I would think it a tad bulky to easily transport around. They do offer an optional add-on chrome handle which would almost assuredly make toting it along to LAN parties much easier.
The H2gO will run you between $200 and $260, depending on whether you choose bare brushed aluminum, powder coated or anodized finish. Be prepared to pony up additional funds if you need to purchase any extra accessories, as the case itself doesn't come with a whole lot of those. For example, I had a handful of 120mm fan grills already, but didn't have enough to go around, which left two of the fans unguarded. Of course that's assuming you have six 120mm fans lying around to start with. Same goes for the 3½" to 5¼" bay adapter; I'll have to pick up a plate to fill in the gap around the floppy. Little pieces like these will quickly add up, which definitely places Mountain Mods in the top echelon of PC cases price-wise, but based on the quality and design, that's right where the H2gO should be.
OCIA.net has awarded the Mountain Mods H2gO our coveted Seal of Approval.