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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.13.03]
Manufactured by: VLSystem
Estimated Price: $90

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The Quest

Go and take a quick browse at some of the submitted cases in our Show Off Your Rig! Case Gallery - There are certainly some sweet systems in there, but truly unique mods are becoming somewhat rare.

Usually you find the basics - case window, coloured lighting, fancy rounded cables, flashy heatsinks and fan covers, and colour-coordinated PCB's...

And that's about it...

What is a case modder to do? What is going to be the final touch that turns a regular modded case into a masterpiece?

The Answer

How about a 5.25" backlit LED indicator? You see home built ones here and there, but how many of them have a refined finished look that fits perfectly with your case? VLSystem comes forward with a product inspired to be exactly that...


The VLS  "Lost In Space" LED Indicator is a retail product coming out of Korea.  It's somewhat hard to find right now; I was only able to find 2 resellers on VLS' list that are situated in USA.  Each sell the kit for around $90.00.

In the box you'll find everything you need to get going right away, short of a set of screws.  You'll need an open COM port for data transmission (forward thinking Abit MAX users are SOL), and a USB port just to power it up.  Personally, I am very stringent with my USB ports - Most motherboards have only 4 ports, and with so many USB devices being used today, real estate runs out pretty fast.  Right now I am using USB ports for my mouse, keyboard, CF reader, joystick, and bluetooth dongle.  Luckily I have still have a port to spare on my mobo, but many other may not be so lucky. 

To add insult to injury, the USB port is simply used for powering the LIS up, and a COM port is still required.  Why couldn't they use a 4 port Molex plug with a splitter? Or looking at it the other way, why didn't they use the USB cable for data transmission? This goes against the trend of eliminating legacy ports, in the silliest way possible.

The manual is a foldout black and white card in Korean on one side, and poorly translated English on the other.  It should be enough to get you going, but there are much more (equally poorly written) details on the VLS site.

Software is included on a mini-CD, but new software is constantly being released on the site, so be sure to grab the latest version instead.

The unit itself is quite an attractive looking piece - we are checking out the "Blue Platinum" version here, but it also comes in 3 other colours - black with a blue LED, black with a red LED, and black with a green LED.  As you can see above, the logos stenciled on the front are barely away from the edge; this is hardly noticable when it is installed however.

I would have preferred silver bolts instead of the brass ones used.  This would have matched the buttons perfectly, and I can't think of any circumstance where brass looks better, no matter which colour scheme you choose.

From the rear you can see where the USB and COM cables attach.  Installation is dead easy - plug the cables in on both ends, power up the system, install the software, and have fun setting it all up! There are a ton of settings to play with, and that is exactly what the LIS is all about - just fooling around and looking good!

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