Upon opening the packaging, we found a small rectangular case badge, LED bus indicator, installation guide, internal USB cable, temperature probes, Matrix Orbital CD, and lastly, the Matrix Orbital MX610. Four screws are also included (already attached to the sides of the drive) for mounting inside an available 5.25" drive bay. It is important to note that what we are examining today is a review sample, and that the retail Matrix Orbital MX6 units do not include the internal USB cable, LED indicator, and temperature probes. These will need to be purchased separately if you are interested in acquiring those features. Contained on the mini CD is LCDC, drivers, and additional information.
As we unwrapped the Matrix Orbital MX610 from its bubble wrap, we were in awe at its exceptional build quality. Even though peanuts, bubble wrap, and a thin layer of plastic carefully protected the display, to our surprise we saw a small dent in the middle of the monitor. We can't be certain if this slight damage occurred during the shipping process from Canada to the United States or if it was damaged during packaging/manufacturing. Nevertheless, this was only a small dent and was the only display problem we could find. On the front left hand side of the display are four of the seven buttons, each indicating a different direction. This set of buttons is used to scroll through the information on the display, change settings, etc. In the middle of the MX610, is the actual PLED display. Compared to other Matrix Orbital models and LED displays from competitors, the size of the LED display is about average with its 2 x 20 character module. To the right of the display, are the last three buttons. These buttons are titled Enter, F2, and F1. While the enter button is self explanatory, F1 and F2 are used as function keys that you can program with the software to do a desired task. On the sides of the Matrix Orbital MX610, we're pleased to find that the side brackets that mount up against the 5.25" drive bay are made of metal, rather than plastic which can be found on cheaper display units. With this rigid metal construction, the device should be very stable after being mounted in an available 5.25" drive bay; and neither will it be easily susceptible to damage.
Revised(3/18/05): We have received a new bay insert due to the fact that our initial sample had a dent. We are pleased to report that our new MX610 insert is free of any defects whatsoever.
Turning around the device, we were quite surprised at all of the available connections. Four thermal probes, four 3-pin fan leads, a LED bus, and USB connections were found across the rear PCB. Although the internal USB cable isn't included with the MX displays, an external USB cable is provided. Unfortunately, a zip-tie through a hole in the PCB keeps this external cable in place so users wishing to use only the internal USB port will need to carefully cut the tie. The included external cable is about a half meter in length, so there should be enough room to route the cable through your chassis and connect to a USB port to the rear. A large six pin ribbon cable connects from this far PCB to the front, where it receives the signals from the seven buttons. Removing the first visible PCB, the character module came loose, and we were able to see that the damage previously noticed, did not affect the actual module. We also noticed the PCBs covered up a good amount of the metal frame, which was badly bruised with multiple scratches and what also appeared to be rust. We don't know if this was a pre-production manufacturing problem or what exactly occurred. However, this part of the display isn't readily visible and doesn't affect the performance of the MX610. Although this poor surface is quite the opposite of the front surface finish which is a fantastic mirror-like finish, as you can see in our golf ball photograph.
Overall, the Matrix Orbital MX610 appears to be a well-built display with a mostly metal frame. We weren't as fortunate with the middle of the screen where a small dent can be found, but luckily when that damage occurred, whether it is during the shipping or manufacturing process, it didn't harm the main components of the display.