5.25" bay devices are like high tech Swiss Army knives, and the capabilities have grown to the point where the number of functions that can be squeezed into a small patch of real estate on the front of a case is really rather crazy. Way back in the day, you might have a few knobs to control fan speeds, maybe a USB port, and maybe an LCD temperature display... but you didn't dare expect more. These days it is all about multi-tasking, and the more you can do with that little rectangle of space, the better.
The item up for review takes multi-tasking to a new level by incorporating a digital display with controls/alarms for three fans and three temperature sensors, with a 55-in-1 multimedia card reader, a USB port, and an eSATA connection. In my opinion, one of the best things about it is that all of these items fit into just one 5.25" bay without looking cluttered. The promotional image below shows the device in question, the Aerocool FP-01 55-in-1 Multifunction Panel with Card Reader.
Aerocool is a manufacturer of computer cases, power supplies, coolers, and other peripherals... None of which have ever been reviewed ay Bigbruin.com. But the source of this review sample should be familiar to Bigbruin.com readers, as they have sponsored many reviews here over the years. Xoxide is a Pennsylvania based online outlet for all things related to cutting edge personal computing. From the basics like cases, keyboards, and power supplies, to high end water cooling, multifunction panels, and even caffeinated snacks and drinks to keep you in the game, Xoxide has a wide selection of interesting tech goodies.
Before taking a look at the actual Aerocool FP-01 55-in-1 Multifunction Panel with Card Reader provided for review, let's take a look at some published data found on the Xoxide website...
» Car stereo style flip-up LCD screen (Color)
» Detect 3 sets of temperature and fan speed
» 3 sets of Alarm settings
» Auto / Manual control
» 55 in 1 card reader (no need for adaptor)
» Smart copy function - copy card data to your desktop in one touch
» 1 x USB port
» 1 x e-SATA port
» Fits in any 5.25" bay
» LCD Display
Compatible Memory Cards:
» CF-Slot: CF-Type I, CF-Type II, CF-Ultra II, HS CF, Micro Drive, CF-Pro, CF-Pro II, CF-Extreme, CF-Extreme III, CF-PSP II, CF-Super, CF-Ultra X
» MS Slot: MS, MS-Magic Gate, MS-PRO Magic Gate, HS-MS-PRO Magic Gate, MS-DUO, MS-DUO Magic Gate, MS-PRO Duo, HS-MS-PRO Duo, MS-PRO Duo-PSP, MS-PRO Duo-Gaming
» SD Slot: SD, SDC, SD-Pro, SD-Pleomax, SD-Pro C, SD-Ultra, SD-Ultra II, SD-Ultra II Plus, SD-Extreme III, SD-Ultra X, SD-Turbo, SD-Super, SD-Max, Mini SD, Mini SD-Pro, Mini SD-Pleomax.MMC, MMC-Pleomax, MMC Pro, HS-MMC, MMC Plus, MMC-Plus Turbo, RS MMC, RS MMC-Pleomax, RS MMC-Speed, RS MMC-Max, MMC Mobile, MMC Mobile-ProC, MMC Mobile-Pocketnet, Micro SD
» SM Slot: XD READY, XD (M), XD ( H), Smart Media
The packaging for the FP-01 provides all the basic information you might want (in a variety of languages), as well as some shots of the device in action. Inside the box, the components are kept safe and in place by a molded plastic frame, and a foam block is stuck in front of the screen for an added measure of protection.