No Software Here
Addressable RGB is taking the world by storm. As a result, many companies have come up with complete systems for lighting customization. Motherboards have software, but products have to support motherboard sync or the 3/4 pin headers. Other companies use external controllers, but those also tend to be proprietary with said company’s products. Lamptron might be the only one providing hardware based lighting control. The CE420 is one of the latest in RGB and fan control, so let’s find out how well it does.
Lamptron doesn’t package on the level of major companies. However, they do an excellent job in not cutting corners on almost everything. The outer sleeve has a great design, shows off the product nicely, and includes some relevant information. The product is nicely protected in foam for shipping purposes.
If there is one corner that’s cut though, it’s the packaging of accessories. I understand the need to save on costs, but it would be nice if the extra wires were at least in a bag to help keep them together. As they stand right now, they’re sort of loosely shoved into the spaces around the controller. This is a pretty minor concern though, and the packaging can easily be reused if you every want to Ebay the product.
CE420 Closer Look
At first glance, the controller looks very similar to other Lamptron devices before it. The CE420 has a simple touch LCD screen, and it also has numerous connections for fans and RGB products. The CE420 supports both standard and addressable RGB. What stands out is the fantastic remote. The sleek, black design looks incredibly professional, especially when compared to the usual rainbow of buttons that other remotes typically entail.
Lamptron also included a light bar for us to look at in this review. What better way to test how the controller works? The bar itself looks like a very solid product. The frame is aluminum, and the product has built in magnets to easily stick to steel cases. If you have plastic or aluminum, you might need to invest in some double-sided tape though.
Lights, Lights, and More Lights!
What you see above is just a few of the potential lighting patterns Lamptron offers. There’s a good chance that one of the patterns will match the kind of lighting scheme you’re looking for. With the addressable headers, you can have a plethora of patterns that mix multiple colors for a customized look. The pictures alone don’t do it justice, which is why I included my video below.
Controlling the lighting is incredibly easy with the remote. The center button allows us to pick the mode we want to control. “A” is for the addressable RGB headers. Pressing up or down on the remote will change the speed of the pattern in lighting. Pressing left or right will cycle between the numerous lighting effects. When it comes to hardware based lighting control, Lamptron does an excellent job.
Other Testing Impressions
Of course, the CE420 does more than control addressable RGBs. If you bring the mode to “F”, you can pick fan channels and set fan speeds. “P” sets all the fans to full power. “Q” sets the fans to a quiet mode, running them at 40% power. You can also use the “L” to change the solid color of the standard, 4-pin RGB headers on the controller. Lamptron even has a temp sensor and an alarm to help notify you if temperatures get too high.
The touch screen control is solid. It may have a few confusing moments, but it’s about as good as you can expect with such a small screen area. The remote is absolutely fantastic though. Shooting through the settings and finding the mode I wanted was really simple. The remote was incredibly responsive as well. About the only real negative the CE420 has is the need of a drive bay. With so many cases leaving those behind nowadays, it can have a bit of trouble making it into a build.
Overall, Lamptron has a great controller here. I feel like they hit the mark in every area, and any complaints I might have are minor at best. One complaint I can’t ignore though is availability in the states. I found one place to buy the unit on Performance PCs website. It’s better than nothing, but the price is pretty steep at nearly $70. Then again, it’s hard to argue with how unique the CE420 Fan and RGB Controller actually is. It’s a great product and I hope it can show up on Amazon at a slightly lower price.
(Btw, Lamptron’s site is a bit out of date and has several 404 errors. I hope they get their site up to speed soon!)