Date: February 5th, 2004
Article by: Roger (Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: VLSYSTEM
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION (cont'd)
I like the inclusion of the back bracket with holes as well as the serial extension. You still have to snake the audio cable through an open hole and it doesn't look as neat, however, at least the serial connection is well organized.
The faceplate looks very good, although I found there was too much text. I had remarked on this as well when I had reviewed VL System's VL Indy (sound activated display). For some reason, VL System adds far too much writing on their displays. Personally, I prefer a clean looking faceplate with as little writing as possible. In fact, my Matrix Orbital has none at all and to me, that is perfect. You don't have to market your product by slapping your name all over the faceplate.
The LCD is premounted onto the faceplate which is painted silver. There is a lexan cover that is riveted onto the faceplate. There are two buttons, one to switch between modes, one to reset the device.
… and a little closer. You can see the connection ports at the top right where the audio and serial cables connect. You have to pass the audio cable through a free hole on the back bracket, then plug it into your sound card or motherboard if you use on-board sound. If you have speakers attached to your audio out (as almost all of us do), you will have to use the included Y adapter to split the sound.
The serial cable has the molex connector which powers the device. Just plug it into a free molex, then connect the 9-pin serial cable to a free COM port on the back of your motherboard and you're done.
I installed the L.I.S. into my open Lubic case. All you have to do is insert the dsplay into an open 5 1/4" optical drive bay and secure the unit in place with a couple of screws. I knew L.I.S. would contrast nicely with the metal blue of the Lubic, and it didn't disappoint. The device would also look great in a silver case (whether steel or aluminum).
As you can see from this shot taken from the VL System's website, their LCDs look fantastic in an aluminum case, regardless of which color display you choose to go with.
As described above, installation is a breeze. You just have to connect the LCD to your audio out and COM port. From there, just pop the installation CD into the drive and load up the software bundle. The software installs in seconds. From there, you can configure as you please… and we'll get into that in the next section.