by William Kelley on July 7, 2010 in Cooling
Although NZXT produces a wide-range of products, its fan controllers have become one of the highlights of its line-ups. The reasons are threefold: features, performance and price. We were left quite impressed with earlier Sentry models, and we can say that NZXT has done it once again with its Sentry LXE.
Once again, NZXT has pulled another rabbit out of the hat. With a MSRP of $59.99US, I cannot find another option if you are in the market for a robust fan controller. The overall versatility is unmatched by anything else out there and the best part is that it does not even bite into your allotment of expansion slots on your chassis as well as your wallet.
Functionality and ease of use are also very important factors to keep in mind. Everything works as it should and there are no side effects to altering fan voltages compared to previous generations. With a generous 10W per channel of power available, you are assured to have lots of grunt for most fans out there, while also having the power to quiet it down with the push of the screen.
It should be made clear though that this fan controller isn’t capable of handling fans like the Tornado that I mentioned earlier, as they exceed 10W of power. The same can be said for many Delta fans. The LXE is able to handle most of the fans people will put in their cases, though, but just to be safe, I recommend double-checking your fan’s rated wattages before hooking them up to the LXE.
The screen itself is of excellent quality. The brushed aluminum housing gives it some needed weight so that it won’t be easily dislodged from your desktop. Viewing angles are quite generous so that you don’t have to be looking straight at it to clearly see what is going on. Colors are crisp and vivid. The touch sensitivity is good although you need to sometimes press an area more than once to get the desired response.
As for flaws, my main gripe is the lack of flexibility in the fan power connections. I would like to see a few 3 to 4-pin adapters included, although this could also directly affect the low MSRP as well. The only other area is messy wiring, but there is little that can be done about that seeing how all the wires must originate from one point and spread out inside the chassis to reach the various fans and monitoring locations. For this it would have been nice to have some included zip ties, but this is hardly a reason to not buy this unit.
For the price, you cannot beat the LXE. This is definitely the best fan controller that has crossed my path to date. With all the positive attributes I list, I feel confident that you will not be disappointed in any way with purchasing this controller. It does its job very well and the downsides I list are more like pet peeves than problems to consider. The Sentry LXE fully deserves our Editor’s Choice award in its category and it simply has no known competition. Kudos to NZXT on the great job here, and for once again raising the bar for fan controllers all over.
NZXT Sentry LXE Fan Controller
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