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Zalman ZM-MFC2 Multi Fan Controller

It's gorgeous but...

The unit itself is about half the size of a small optical drive, offering up only half the usual screw holes because of its reduced depth.

Around back there's a neat array of well labelled sockets that keep things simple, and even if things aren't that self explanatory for you the manual is full of helpful diagrams that will keep you on the right track. Round front there's the large 70x25mm LCD screen, a large scroll wheel that doubles as a push button and a tiny mode button in the corner. That's it - between the two of them they select and set all the options, not that there are that many to play with though.

It does a remarkable job of looking like something that wouldn't look out of place in your car, let alone the front of a PC. I can't help but want to grab Thermaltake (if that's even possible), and show the designers there that this is how to do the car-PC crossover properly.

Once fired up, our feelings about the product dived down to rock bottom - it looks phenomenal, but the viewing angle is outright terrible. You literally have to look at it straight on to tell what the values are, five degrees either side this makes it completely unreadable - not great for something that won't (ever) be placed in a position where it’s always viewed head on. Typically a PC case sits on the floor or next to your monitor on the desk, but never right in front of you as that would make the keyboard hard to use and monitor difficult to see.

It's clear that Zalman is using a cheap LCD screen with a very poor polarisation filter.

Zalman ZM-MFC2 Multi Fan Controller It's sooo pretty, but...
Front on it looks great, but because the display is quite intense and there's no level adjustment on the Zalman the brightness plays tricks with the camera.

Zalman ZM-MFC2 Multi Fan Controller It's sooo pretty, but...
Our Canon 350D actually polarised the light further making it surprisingly far more readable than it actually is just to look at. You still can't read the power meter value though.

Zalman ZM-MFC2 Multi Fan Controller It's sooo pretty, but...
Top down it's atrocious - you can't read anything. So if your case sits on the floor this is what you're likely to see - a blur of 8s.