Date: May 7th, 2008
Article by: Karl Van der Walt (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: VL System
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The front of the unit is dominated by the display with the circular area on the far right concealing the IR receiver. As you would expect from this type of unit it is secured in the case by 4 screws, 2 on each side. Overall I have to say I really like the layout of the display and IR receiver, it just looks classy.
The back of the VFD is nicely laid out on a black PCB. The connectors are all marked so you know what goes where. One thing that did bother me though is that there is no discernable “pin 1” marking for the power switch connector meaning I had to try it both ways before getting it to work right.
The remote itself is quite stylish in black and silver and should look at home on just about any coffee table next to your TV and other remotes. I won't be breaking down all the buttons on the remote for this review.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Here is a breakdown of how the cables connect. The power switch cable simply connects to the motherboard power switch connector and the front panel power switch then connects to the second part of the cable, basically looping the power switch through the VFD. The rest of the cables are self evident and I won't be going into any more detail about them. I will say that this is quite a lot of cabling to hide in a potentially cramped media center case.
Installation is pretty much what you would expect from a product like this and was relatively simple. The one gripe I have is that the manual was in Korean, although, seeing as my review sample was shipped directly from Korea it is possible I received a sample that was meant for local sale. Still I feel this is an oversight on the part of VL Systems as I should have received an international sample. Not a huge deal but worth a mention.
*Editors Addition: I spoke To VL System and there will be an english manual included in the standard English packaging.*
I will not be going into a step by step installation guide here because lets face it, if you don't know how to install a device like this then you really should be having it fitted by a professional. I will however say that if your PC does not power on by the remote then you likely have the power switch header connected upside down on the VFD, simply flipping it over will solve the problem. The way I have it connected in the above picture is NOT correct, the silver tabs should face down. I encountered this issue because the polarity and “pin 1” labels that are usually on such connectors were strangely absent. Again, not a huge deal but rather irritating.
On to the testing and software.
Testing specifications as follows:
CPU - Intel Pentium D 805 socket 775 (stock)
Motherboard - ASUS P5N-E SLI
RAM - 2gb Corsair XMS2 6400 (2 x 1024mb)
GFX - 256mb ASUS EN8600GT
HDD1 - 200gb SATA Seagate Barracuda
HDD2 - 60gb Maxtor IDE
Optical - Aopen +/- DVD/RW
PSU - 750w Xspice Croon BF 700
Case - Generic no name windowed case