FrontX offers a variety of choices to use in the front ports of the unit, including USB, 1394 Firewire, Audio, RCA Video, serial, and joystick. Perhaps the only option missing is S-Video.
As you can see, we have installed the 1394 port that, when installed in this configuration, takes up two of the single spaces. We also left one of the spaces open to give you a better idea on how the ports slide into the FrontX unit.
Sliding the ports into the unit is not a big chore at all. Once you determine the configuration of the FrontX unit, it is just a matter of sliding each of the ports into the track that is molded into the FrontX, and then plugging the cable into the corresponding port on your computer. Once the ports were slid into place in the FrontX unit, we did not notice any "play" within the unit, so we don't believe that durability will be a factor with the plugging in and unplugging of devices to and from the FrontX.
The photo below shows how the unit is designed, and what the function of each device within the unit's design is.
A breakdown of the design of the FrontX unit.
As you can see in the picture above, the FrontX offers labels that are molded into the corners of each of the ports to help you identify the function of the port until you become more familiar with the unit. In cases where ports conform to the PC 99 I/O color standards, these are also colored the same way, which makes the installation of the unit even easier.
Perhaps one of the most exciting features of the FrontX is the door design that hides all of the ports when they are not in use. The front of the FrontX looks like a normal drive bay face plate; the flip-up door hides the industrial look of the front of the FrontX unit's ports when not in use.