Front Mounted Ports: Take a Joy Ride On The Fan Bus

Nexus Multi-function Panel - NXP-101 - Vantec

The Nexus NXP-101 from Vantec.

Vantec is making a name in the fan bus market place, and they provided us with a total of four products for this review. Vantec seems focused on making devices (such as those in the Nexus product family) available to consumers at reasonable prices. The reason they have been able to carve out such a niche in this market space is due to the variety of their products; in the Nexus family there is a product that should fit just about every need in all of the fan bus categories.

The Nexus Multi-Function Panel, or the NXP-101, it is a top-of-the-line device that combines fan bus control, temperature monitoring, and includes two USB 2.0 ports and one 1394 port to the front of the PC. This arrangement, along with its included attractive interchangeable face plates, gives the NXP-101 a unique product advantage: it is the only product to offer both USB 2.0 and 1394 connectivity to a fan bus device.

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Product Model NumberNXP-101
Configuration Description (Type)Multi-Function Fan Control Device
Mounting Configuration / Color5-¼ - Interchangeable Front Face Plates
Number Of Fans Controllable1 - CPU Fan Only
Temperature Monitoring SupportedYes - 3 Sensors
Audible Overheating AlarmYes
Front Mounted Port SupportYes - 2 USB 2.0 & 1 1394
Special FeaturesLCD Monitoring Screen, audio alarm warning
Features & Design Score7
Performance (Pass / Fail)Pass
Value Score Based On Retail Price7
Sample Provided By
Suggested Retail Price$29 US

The NXP-101 is one of Vantec's first offerings and it is beginning to show its product maturity when compared to some of its competitors' more aggressive offerings. Since many new PC cases now offer front mounted ports, some users may not consider the NXP-101; but there continues to be a large market that can still make use of the its features.

The NXP-101 was includes a variety of bezels to allow easy swap out for a variety of case colors. The NXP-101 is also the only fan bus device that we reviewed that included a transfer panel element; in this instance, it was a pair of USB 2.0 ports and a single 1394 port.