Master Panel II by Vizo

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Master Panel II
by Vizo
Conclusion
March 30, 2008
Master Panel II: Introduction Master Panel II: What's In The Box / A Closer Look
Master Panel II: Specifications Master Panel II: Conclusion


Master Panel II
by Vizo
Features: An updated Master Panel, providing several more features and conveniences such as USB 2.0 ports, a 4-way memory card reader/writer, rotary dials for two fans, and a complete audio connection section.
Official Website: www.vizo.com.tw
MSRP: $49.99
Pros
  • Built-in card reader
  • Dual-fan controller
  • RCA video input
  • Sleek design
  • Knobs are good quality
  • Sturdy construction
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 1394 port
  • eSATA connection
  • Complete audio cluster
  • Informative user manual
  • No more need for inconvenient back-of-PC connections
Cons / Disadvantages
  • None observed
Observations
  • Card reader area could be protected a little more
  • Will take some time to install due to motherboard familiarity
The Vizo Master Panel II is a generous upgrade since the original Master Panel I used last year. Installation does take a moderate amount of time as you need to know where you connect the internal cables to your motherboard. In addition, it does require you to have open access to your motherboard's internal hookups, so plan ahead when you purchase the MP II (or any device requiring a motherboard connection for that matter).

So, now is the time to whip out your mobo manual if you have one, and set it aside for trouble-free identification. I can't stress enough to be aware of your motherboard's internal connections. If you don't have your manual, and you're somewhat knowledgeable about the workings of your motherboard, you should be fine.

After installation was complete, I had control of two fans within my PC, and my card reader I normally have on my desktop, was no more. Transferring data was noticeably the same as with my external reader, so I wasn't compromising speed.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PLUS

Once again, Vizo has a great product on their hands, and it's rather inexpensive as well. Street price is much less than the $49.99 MSRP. The price is very reasonable, considering what you're getting. A card reader ($15), two USB ports and a 1394 port ($13), dual fan controller ($15), and a complete audio cluster ($15 at least if you can find one), all housed in one convenient package.

One observation I did make, which isn't a con or disadvantage per se, is the rather unprotected area of the card reader, housed just inside the panel. There's a lot of open space with no closing lid, so theoretically, there is a chance of more dust getting inside the PC case via the panel. However, because the MP II can get warm in warmer temperatures of the year and naturally itself because of all the components installed on the panel, this could be a nice way to vent some warm air. In any case, this isn't something which concerned me that much, so it's just an observation. However, I'd like to see Vizo create an MP III model with an upgraded card reader which is more protected from the outside environment and made entirely out of aluminum.

Overall, the Vizo Master Panel II performed just fine, and I highly recommend it to those who want to squeeze the maximum out of their motherboard's features.


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