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Product : All-In-Wonder 9600XT
Company : ATI Technologies
Author : Mark 'Ratchet' Thorne
Editor : Robin 'roki' Kim
Date : April 17th, 2004

Remote Wonder II

I have six remote controls for my Home Theater setup. All of them a pain to program and none of them capable of doing everything any one of the others can. Aside from cluttering up my coffee table, they get stepped on, lost between the cushions of my couch, left in the refrigerator, dropped in the toilet (yep), and generally seem to have a good habit of being lost right when I need them the most. The latest addition to my cursed collection of abused remotes, the Remote Wonder II, came in the box along with with the AIW 9600XT.

Remote Wonder II
Remote Wonder II
Remote Wonder II Profile
Remote Wonder II Profile
Remote Wonder II with Classic Remote Wonder
Remote Wonder II with Classic Remote Wonder
Remote Wonder II Mouse Control
Remote Wonder II Mouse Control
Remote Wonder II New AUX Buttons
Remote Wonder II New AUX Buttons

ATI's Remote Wonder II, the ill-fated replacement for my nearly flushed classic Remote Wonder, is a much better remote in comparison. It feels more comfortable and the buttons are more responsive than those found on the classic Remote Wonder, particularly the redesigned mouse control pad which responds to even the lightest touch. The shape has been stretched out to make it a little longer and narrower which gives it an overall better feel even in my oversized mitt. It's also neither too heavy nor too light giving it that good balance all properly designed remotes should have. Besides the ergonomic improvements, it also has four new "AUX" buttons which can be set to launch any application you choose.

Remote Wonder II Receiver
Remote Wonder II Receiver
Also redesigned and updated is the receiver. Instead of the small and compact receiver that came with the classic Remote Wonder, the Remote Wonder II has a much larger bagel sized receiver with a short stiff antenna. Why was the receiver so dramatically changed? It might have something to do with the two 1/8" jacks on the side. In the near future, ATI plans to address one of the key complaints about it's RF based Remote Wonder line in that they can't control IR devices such as cable boxes or satellite receivers. Using the Remote Wonder II receiver, you will be able to connect what is known as an IR blaster to those 1/8" jacks. With that, you will be able to use the Remote Wonder II to control set-top boxes. Even though I don't particularly like the bulky size of the new receiver, this future IR blaster support more than makes up for it. The only real complaint I have about the receiver is that the USB cable is far too short to get the receiver far enough away from your PC to help eliminate range reducing electrical interference.

Speaking of range, ATI also claims improvements in range of up to 60 feet with the Remote Wonder II - compare that to the classic Remote Wonder which was good for about 30 feet under ideal conditions. After a few weeks of use I can safely say that the stated 60 feet is a stretch at best. Even with a direct line of sight and with the receiver connected to a USB hub, the farthest I could get away from it was about 40 feet. That's still pretty good though and should suit most users (myself included) just fine.






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