Thermaltake 7″ LCD Monitor
(Courtesy of Thermaltake)
In addition to the SwordM full-tower case, the good guys at Thermaltake sent along one of their very cool, retractable LCD monitors to show off the SwordM’s 7” drive bay capability.
The Thermaltake 7” LCD Monitor comes securely packed in a retail box and includes everything needed for installation and use. Thermaltake currently offers three different enclosures that support the 7” LCD monitor: Thermaltake SwordM, Mozart TX, and the Lanbox.
• 7” LCD Monitor and mounting frame
• Bezel trim piece
• IR Remote control
• User’s Manual
• Touchpad drivers on CD
• VGA, USB, and power cables
• Touch pen
• Specialty removal tool
The 7” LCD monitor incorporates a touch screen and comes with an IR remote control. Even though the remote lists a TV mode, this particular model does not contain a TV tuner so it functions strictly as a monitor.
When not in use the widescreen monitor remains stowed away inside the 7” bay housing. There are two control buttons on the lower section of the main housing and seven more on the LCD panel. A small LCD clock is also included but unfortunately it must be reset every time the PC is powered off. It appears this device was originally intended for the automotive market since it would have been easy to tap into the PC’s power supply +5vsb power to keep the clock ticking even when the computer was turned off. The control buttons and clock display are all back lit with blue LEDs.
Pressing the Open/Close button causes the flat panel display to eject like a CD tray and then flip up into a near vertical position for viewing. The final viewing angle can be easily adjusted to suit your seating position using either the remote control or buttons on top of the display.
This is a very cool feature, which is sure to draw attention to any rig and impress your friends. In actual use, the screen deploys and retracts smoothly and with minimal noise.
All of the connectors are located on the back of the LCD monitor housing. The three main connection points of interest are:
1. Power cable connector (12 VDC supplied from PC power supply)
2. USB (touch panel interface)
3. VGA (video signal input)
As we mentioned before, this model does not include a TV tuner so the antenna and audio out jacks are not used. The composite video input might be of interest to someone using this little monitor as part of a HTPC to connect to a receiver or DVD player to display the OSD setup menu.
Thermaltake 7” LCD Monitor Specifications (from the User’s Manual)
Note this is a 7” widescreen monitor (16:9) with a non PC standard native resolution of 800 x 480. Luckily the display incorporates an onboard scaler that allows using a standard display resolution such as 1024 x 768. The display can be setup as a second monitor and driven from your main video card or driven from a secondary PCI video card depending on each end user’s preference.
We’ll cover the physical installation in the next section but to take full advantage of the 7” LCD monitor you must install drivers to enable the touch panel functionality. (The current model lists Windows Vista support.) Once the drivers are installed a quick, one-time calibration routine makes the touch screen useable. Thermaltake includes a small touch screen pen that can be used instead of your finger to prevent marking up the display surface with fingerprints.
Overall, the retractable 7” LCD monitor proved to be a lot of fun to use and will definitely draw attention to your new rig!