I would like to thank Lamptron for supplying the sample.
Lamptron has been around since the early 2000s and is well known for its slew of fan controllers. In recent years, with the disappearance of external 5.25" slots, Lamptron has started to expand the line-up to internal components for both fan and RGB control, as well as several LCD monitors and RGB accessories. In this article, we will take a quick look at the Lamptron ATX201 RGB Frame, which, as the name implies, is a unique RGB lighting element to give your motherboard that extra visual appeal. Lamptron also offers mATX and ITX variants.
Packaging and A Closer Look
The ATX201 frame comes packaged in a brown cardboard box with a sticker of the frame in action on front, so you know exactly what you are receiving.
The frame itself is as simple as can be. In essence, it is a translucent plastic frame with a black cover on one side. There are cutouts around where the motherboard standoffs for an ATX form factor would be, and a 5 V 3-pin RGB cable comes out of the corner for you to connect to your controller or straight to your motherboard.
The connector is completely traditional, so you should run into no problems when interfacing it with any modern header on a board or generic controller. If you look closely at the translucent side of the frame, you can see the LEDs on a strip that essentially wraps all the way around inside the frame. The black layer is then glued on to keep everything in place.
Frame in Use
Installing the Lamptron ATX201, if you can call even call it an installation, simply means placing the frame into the case before installing your motherboard. As you can see in the first picture, the ATX201 aligns nicely with the mounts. Once we dug up an open-frame case, we were also able to take a shot of the frame sandwiched between the chassis and the motherboard.
We connected the frame to the MSI Z390 and Zalman Z3 Iceberg's generic 5 V RGB controller, which was in turn plugged straight into the motherboard. Using the MSI Dragon Center software, the board's dim backlight was turned off to showcase the ATX201 as an add-on for those with a board without that feature in the first place. While I am not a fan of RGB, the indirect lighting is actually pretty nifty in my opinion. As you can see, the frame emits quite the potent glow all around the motherboard, with nicely diffused illumination—all while syncing up with the rest of the components just fine.
To showcase some basic colors, we went through the RGB set—red, green and blue. Naturally, you have a lot of creative freedom when utilizing software, and the MSI Mystic Light app offers a variety of animations and multi-color settings as well, all of which comes across very nicely on the Lamptron ATX201.
We also shot a quick 10 second video of a full-on RGB animation to give you a real-world sense of what to expect.
ConclusionThe Lamptron ATX201 is a really simple, yet pretty darn nifty RGB add-on to your system. It adds lighting to an area in your system you will have a hard time illuminating otherwise; that is, unless your motherboard already has rear-mounted LEDs. For those who do not have that luxury, the ATX201 is a potent and super simple element that just works and does so extremely well.
That is it. There really is not much else to be said about a product that is made out of a plastic frame and an embedded LED strip. All the ingenuity is in the shape of the frame itself and, thus, its placement. Quite honestly, I am fine with that since it is, in turn, affordable, and the end result is pretty stunning.
From a pricing perspective, things are currently not very clear. Lamptron mentioned an MSRP of $39, which seems quite high for a product that utilizes such a simple list of materials. We suggested a $20–$25 price tag, so hopefully, it will be more affordable once it hits retail.