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Biostar iDEQ 200T
By Vijay Anand
Category : Barebone/SFF
Published by Jimmy Tang on Thursday, 5th August, 2004
Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars  

The Biostar iDEQ 200T

After doing away with the product packaging and transparent wrapping, we finally got a close-up of the Biostar iDEQ 200T SFF system. Its front has a clear acrylic finish over silver plastic while the rest of the chassis and panels are all aluminum. Sadly, the chassis cover and side panels had a rather dull brushed silver finish and felt flimsy when handled. Only the front panel of the Biostar iDEQ 200T added a presentable feel to the overall appearance of the system, but it wasn't anything stunning or eye-catching.

This is the Biostar iDEQ 200T.

Though the system may seem to have similar dimensions as the AOpen and Shuttle systems, the Biostar iDEQ SFF systems have slightly greater depth. The control center of for the SFF is at the very center of the front panel as seen in these close-ups:-

From top to bottom:- An IR-receiver, power button, reset switch (and LED indicators flank both sides of it). Not many systems have an IR-receiver as part of their default specifications, so that's something to keep in mind.

When the Biostar iDEQ 200T is plugged to the mains, its standby orange LED indicator lights up.

Powering up the system, we have a green LED indicating the powered and active state of the SFF while the bright blue LED flickers to inform of any hard drive operation.

At the very bottom, the system is decked with a row of input/output interfaces. On some SFF machines like the Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K, the exposed design of these connectors don't interfere with the case design, but on the Biostar iDEQ 200T, we felt that its design doesn't bode too well with exposed connectors.

The front panel I/O connectors from left to right are:- a 6-pin Firewire port, an S/PDIF optical input, microphone input, headphones output and two USB 2.0 ports.

Optical drives, floppy drives and other external facing drives are easily accessed via a slide down front plate. This helps conceal drives that lack faceplates which don't match the SFF's color, but this design isn't without its own problems. When the sliding plate is up, you can view the LED status of the system and access the IR-receiver, power/reset buttons if required, but you won't have access to your optical or floppy drives. The exact reverse of this scenario presents itself when the front plate is drawn down. No doubt you won't require simultaneous access for both sections usually, it is still a niggling issue that you might want to keep in view. Perhaps that's why this approach to hiding external facing drives has been very rarely utilized on other SFF systems.

The Biostar SFFs leave the drive bays open by default…

… but that's not an issue since the faceplates are provided within the package.

Here's a sample shot after sealing the 3.5-inch bay and installing a CD-ROM drive.

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