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CM Black Drive Bezel

Introduction

Today we are going to take a look at Cooler Master's black Alloy Front Bezel for most types of optical drives. Take note of the term 'most' - But more on that later. Cooler Master produce a wide range of PC thermal solutions, cases & other various case modding accessories. This product, the optical drive bezel, is naturally geared towards those who have modded or upgraded their case to a black one and are stuck with their former beige drives that now look pretty terrible in the new case. Also an aluminum color is available. This bezel should help solve these types of color coordination mishaps.

Description

The package is very neat and precise. No funky pictures on the packaging that bear questionable resemblance to the actual product. The bezel can be clearly seen through the clear plastic and does a good job of self promotion. Its one of those items I would certainly pick off the shelf to have a closer look at. Another nice feature is the background yellow & black glossy cardboard in the package that opens up to the installation instructions. If only all products came with such high quality printed instructions.

Cooler Master Bezel     Bezel Parts

What you get in the packaging:

Eject Button cover
Surrounding face cover
Tray cover
3M double sided sticky tape
Printed Instructions

A very nice touch is the pre-cut double sided sticky tape - and you get a lot of it! I was left over with almost double of what I actually used. Mind you, it could come in handy if things really go wrong and you have to start over from scratch with the installation process.

Bezel Backing

Installation

Here's where things are a little funky. If you take a look at the 3 pieces of the bezel and compare them with the front of your CD/DVD drive you are about to acknowledge a few things: - Your drive's LED indicator is going to be covered up. You can fix that by drilling an appropriately measured hole, but then there is no guarantee you can get accurate LED positioning on a different drive if you re-use the bezel.

Only one button on the drive is going to be accessible
The emergency pinhole open mechanism will be covered up
The volume wheel is going to be covered up
The headphone insertion point will be covered up

Out of the three beige colored drives I had - not one of them was a perfect fit. An old 24x CD-ROM drive was a no-go because the eject button was not in the correct place for the bezel's hole. The 24x Plextor CDRW eject button also would be a hindrance. My last hope to actually test the bezel was my trusty old 52x Asus CD-ROM. As you can see in the picture the drive has two buttons stop/eject to the right and play/forward to the left.

Bezel Fitting 1     Bezel Fitting 2

Will the button to the left be a problem after it gets covered under the bezel? I thought so, because the Bezel's eject button actually sits partially on top of the drive's left button and would probably press it whenever the eject button gets pressed.

The sticking process went OK. I had to trim a little off the tray tape to ensure it would not interfere with the open/close mechanism. Getting the eject button in place is a little tricky as you have to sort of drop it into place when sticking the outer cover down. A little luck is certainly needed...

All in all - everything fit and looked pretty good. After installing the drive in a dark brown colored case (not everyone has a black case you know!) and powering up - the open/close action was perfect and the now hidden left button did not cause any grief (it could be continuously depressed for all I know...). You can also see the need to verify your case optical drive front panel is suited to this type of bezel - the Imperial case I have certainly is not suited.

Bezel Installed

Final thoughts

Plan your panel color schemes ahead! But if you are in dire need of a good old beige stealthing you could do much worse than the Cooler Master CD/DVD Front Bezel.

Pros:

  • High quality material and packaging
  • Can be reused on new drives
  • Looks professional
  • Excellent instructions

Cons:

  • Drive compatibility must be verified
  • Case compatibility must be verified
  • Covers drive functions. - Unsuitable for people that actually use their drive as a standalone CD Player

Added: July 12th 2003
Reviewer: Gozlandog
Score: 8  
Related Link: Cooler Master
Hits: 10176
Language: english

  

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