Antec iLuminate lighting

Computers are beige and boring aren't they? Okay so some are black and the Alienware models are cool looking, but on the whole for most of us computers are boring things that should be hidden under the desk. Antec has different ideas however, and has launched a range of external and internal LED light tubes to bring a little bit of excitement to your PC or monitor casing for young and old alike.

We tested a varying set up of sizes, lights and colours all of which pulsate to the sound created by games or music. Connection is simple. The external models all come with a long USB cable and socket to get you going. All you do then is plug the unit into an available slot. In fact you can connect the device to anything with a USB slot whether it's a PS2, PC or Apple Mac and the long cable gives you plenty of room to play around with. Once connected, you're up and running and the power consumption is low enough not to put too many pennies on the electric bill.

Everything is fed through a small controller (really just a plastic box) and you can opt to turn the lights on constantly or have them react to noise made in the room. Additionally you can also set the level to which they will be set off for that ultimate retro disco effect. However, we still found that the vibration has to be pretty large to get them working effectively.

The lights themselves glow surprisingly bright and depending on the model the lights will change colour depending on the loudness of music or vibration.

For the hardened light fan, Antec also offers an internal model that can fit inside your PC case and rather than connecting via USB, plugs directly into the power source. Here, flash frequency is controlled by an external switch that lives on the outside of your machine so you can set whether your want a constant light or pulsating like the others.

Verdict

Overall this is a very cheap way of adding some life to your PC or PlayStation2, however this really is only for the bored or those with no other upgrade left to spend your money on. It won't boost the performance of your machine and if you're not a hardened overclocker it will probably becoming annoying only after a short time. Still if you feel you are one of those people that likes spoilers on the back of a Renault 5, or you purchased the Jeantech Phong Case (reviewed in hardware) which is prebuilt black and silver and you want more lights than just the one you can see from the side fan mount, then this will be for you. A harmless bit of fun.


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