Case accessories these days come in a plethora of shapes, sizes and with an encyclopedia of functions. Some are useful, others not so much. On the former end of the spectrum you have accessories like NZXT's Aperture M, which we'll be looking at today. NZXT has a history of making case accessories that are not only useful, but good lookign as well. Let's see if the Aperture M lives up to the NZXT name. Read on...
NZXT has come out with some pretty interesting and useful case accessories in the past. From their sleeved LED kits to the Bunker to the HUE to the IU01 powered USB expansion board, they've got some winners on their list already. The Aperture M appears to have it's rightful spot on the list. It features USB 3.0 and will read just about any media card you could possibly think of. Let's take a closer look at the Aperture M now.
|Connection||USB 2.0/3.0 Header|
|Support||CF, MD, SM, XD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MS, M2, MICRO SD|
The Aperture M comes packaged in a full-color cardboard box. The front displays a picture of the product as well as some basic info and features. The box is the exact same size and layout as the HUE.
The backside of the box has another picture of the unit and a more detailed features and specifications list.
Three of the box's sides are plain black, with the fourth displaying model/serial number info, links and UPC codes.
When you open the box the first thing you'll see is the unit in a clear plastic bag. There is no kind of packing material but it doesn't seem to be needed as the unit sits pretty snugly into the box by itself.
Underneath the unit is the black and white instruction manual.
The unit itself is very sturdy. It sits on the same base mounting plate as the HUE. The mounting plate has 4 threaded brass inserts for mounting the unit into your case and features the same cable wrapping tabs we saw on the HUE as well. It also comes with 4 black screws (not shown) for installation purposes.
The front of the unit is black and covered with a black steel mesh. A large variety of cases on the market these days come with mesh fronts (for example NZXT's Phantom and Phantom 410). The left side features all of the card reader ports which are labeled for ease of use. There is an activity LED on the lower left (directly to the left of the "SM" marking) that I'm happy to say lights up white. It also features the pair of USB 3.0 ports on the right and a small NZXT logo in the bottom right corner.
The connectors on the Aperture M are simple - an internal USB 2.0 header for the card reader portion and an internal USB 3.0 header for the pair of USB 3.0 ports on the front of the unit.
The main chip on the Aperture M is the 5130 USB controller chip from Realtek Semiconductor Corp. This chip is what handles all the transferring of data from your media card(s) to the internal USB 2.0 port on your motherboard.
The Aperture M installs easily into any available 5.25" drive bay you have on your case. You can use the tool-free option (if it's included with your particular case) or use the 4 provided mounting screws. Then simply hook up your internal USB connectors and you're done! The mesh looks somewhat out of place here on our matte black Switch 810, but it'll look much more at home on any case with black mesh drive covers.
NZXT has yet another winner on their already impressive lineup of case accessories. The Aperture M provides not only a reader for just about every type of flash card made but also adds in a pair of USB 3.0 ports as well. This can come in handy if your motherboard is equipped with internal USB 3.0 but your current case is not. The styling is great on the Aperture M as well. The lines are clean and the label text is easy to read at a glance. The white activity LED is an awesome touch as well. If you're the kind of person who's constantly fiddling with various MMC adapters this is the product for you. The NZXT Aperture M is available for only $34.99 from NewEgg with free shipping at the time of this writing.