NZXT sentry lxe

As with all fan controllers, the NZXT Sentry LXE has the danger of turning your case into a mess of snaking wires.

With five temperature-sensing thermocouples and the five three-pin fan connectors all sprouting from the palm-sized controller card, keeping your case tidy will involve a lot of tie wraps.

On top of these is a four-pin Molex connector that supplies the 10 watts of power to the fan channels, along with powering the external touch display. When the system is powered down, settings are retained by the inclusion of a button battery installed on the card.

Another external ribbon cable connects the display to the internal card. At around 190cm long, it's a good length to accommodate most set ups.

In use, we found the touchscreen to initially be somewhat confusing – touch zones aren't clearly marked for example – but generally it's easy enough to figure out. Though we can't help feeling a little more thought could have gone into the layout.

The vital +/- controls are crammed into the bottom-left corner and a frankly unnecessarily large time and date display takes up a good area of the screen.

The controls themselves are responsive enough though and it's easy to set and control temperatures and fan speeds.

The display is clear, but has limited viewing angles, it is however built very well, feeling pretty much bulletproof.

When tapping away at the screen, rubber feet stop it from sliding on your desktop, and it's angled well enough to just about avoid it being knocked back when tapping the uppermost controls. The temperature sensors are sensitive enough, though sticking on a thermocouple is never an ideal way to monitor temperatures.

We liked

If you're looking for a device to pimp-out your desktop then the NZXT Sentry LXE is going to be a choice pick. Its desktop display looks the part, it's well made and is a functionally useful device.

While we're hardly impressed by the touchscreen input, it just adds to the gloss.

It also does exactly what it promises and if you're running a suitably pimped-out rig with fans galore, the desktop controls are going to save your back.

We disliked

Unfortunately the question still remains as to whether this is really necessary at all? An optical drive-bay controller will do the job, cost less and not take up desktop space.

But then, it also won't look quite as flash either.