Remote Wonder Plus and I/O Cabling
One key feature of the All-In-Wonder X800 XL is the Remote Wonder Plus that is included in the retail package. The Remote Wonder Plus is a more refined edition of the original Remote Wonder and Remote Wonder II, which were both larger, yet equally capable, models. The Remote Wonder Plus takes things to a smaller scale while still providing full control over the All-In-Wonder X800 XL as well as being fully programmable for other applications as well. The Remote Wonder Plus comes with a dial pad in the center which allows for full control of your mouse and worked with EAZYLOOK as a navigational pad. The Remote Wonder Plus is not a replacement for your mouse, as control is sensitive and difficult in precise situations, but overall, the control was adequate for starting and stopping programs, controlling Power Point and other general functions.
Programming the Remote Wonder Plus to run other applications is very simple and there are also numerous custom plug ins available at such websites as Remote Wonder which has an extensive library of useful plug ins for all Remote Wonder models. The unit is designed to function up to 60' away from the USB receiver, even through walls. Certainly, that can vary widely based on construction materials, other devices in the area and battery strength. However, in the average home, this will be more than enough and we certainly had no issues controlling the system from two rooms away.
The Remote Wonder Plus allows for 16 different frequency channels known as Remote IDs, which can be useful where more than one remote is being used. We also found this to be useful in troubleshooting. When we first set up our test bed, we had problems where the remote wonder software would crash and close for no apparent reason. Most times the remote was not being used at all, which made the issue even more puzzling. Our solution was to change the default channel to another ID, in this case #5, and the error stopped occurring. We suspect interference with another device in the area was to blame, in which case, this feature was much more useful than its initial intent.
As we touched on when inspecting the retail bundle, ATI included an ample collection of cabling to add to the All-In-Wonder's capabilities. Over the years, this collection has evolved and the bundle keeps getting better. One of the best refinements in recent memory is the stackable Input and Output blocks. Each block has interlocking nubs that keeps the two attached at the hip. This helps in keeping cabling under control, which can be a challenge with a device that make extensive use of external inputs and outputs. The input block has four ports, S-Video, Composite and left and right audio inputs. The output block comes with the same port configuration as well as SPDIF (Orange), Line-In (Blue) and Line-Out (Green) leads. The Line-Out is passive, allowing it to run inline with your speakers. The red HDTV connector had three channel outputs as well as a single audio output.
All of the cables marry up to the three way custom dongle that comes with the All-In-Wonder X800 XL. All of these connections get funneled down to a single connector that is about a half inch square. Some of you may have noticed further changes compared to the last All-In-Wonder to come our way, the All-In-Wonder X800 XT. ATI changed their custom dongle to incorporate the Analog VGA output instead of splitting the FM and TV connectors. Additionally, ATI opted to switch the HDTV cabling from a block assembly to a standard pigtail setup.