Some other aspects of the eX5-320S
The LCD screen is chock full of information in either Music On Now mode or when in Windows. In either case, the screen reports the CPU speed, amount of memory, hard drive size, and current resolution, all with easily recognizable icons. In Windows, the time of day is displayed prominently in the middle of the screen, and is the only readout other than a symbol indicating that the system is on. In "DJ" mode, there are many more status symbols, which are needed to give the user feedback on the music playback. In addition to the track and time elapsed, there are readouts on whether the playback is paused or playing normally, what the volume level is set at, and what source the music is playing from.
As we mentioned on the previous page, the top of the system has 9 buttons across the front, most of which serve obvious functions such as play, pause, or stop. Nested within the other audio controls is a power button used to power up the unit in "DJ" mode using the Music On Now function. Instead of booting into Windows, the system boots into a "mini-OS" if you will, that displays a playlist of available tracks. These tracks can be on the hard drive, CD-ROM, or even on a USB flash disk. The downside to this is that there is no way to change the folder on the hard drive while in this mode. A specific folder on the hard drive is chosen while in Windows, and all MP3s files that you want to play are be placed in that folder. This could result in a long list to scroll through to get through in order to play a specific track. The audio buttons along the top can be used to access all functions, or one can use the remote controller instead.
There's one last aspect of the eX5-320S that we haven't touched on yet, and that's the accessibility of the drive bays. The last button along the top controls the raising and lowering of the front door. The lower part containing the LCD screen shifts inward slightly, while the door slides down and takes its place. This reveals the 5 1/4" bay and 3 1/2" bay, which in this case is populated by the 6-in-1 card reader. The card reader has a silver faceplate which looks really sharp, and can read all major formats including Memory Sticks, Compact Flash Cards, and Secure Digital cards. One of the benefits of the sliding door is it effectively "stealths" the drives. One no longer has to worry about matching the CD drive bezel or re-painting it in order to match the rest of the unit.