Date: July 13, 2005
Author(s): Rob Williams
If you have a need to power up your computer with a remote control, Logisys has the answer. Their remote multifunction panel allows you to do just that, and more.
Last month, we took a look at the Logisys 20-in-1 Multifunction panel. That product is quite similar to what we are looking at today, except it will allow you to power on and off your computer via remote control. Before we jump straight into the review, let’s take a look at what Logisys is about.
We had a dream that there was a computer as novel as a toy and as exquisite as a gift. We dreamed that there was a computer that could glitter all kinds of lights just like an emerald. We had also dreamed a more people friendly computer with a choice of more eye catching colors available instead of being beige only. That is exactly what we have been doing and working hard on.
First thing I should mention, is that this is a prototype version of the panel, and revisions have likely been made since the time this was received. In fact, some of the functionality was lost, but could be fixed with some soldering, but I bypassed that, as I don’t have a soldering gun on hand.
At any rate, this panel is designed to give the end user a lot of functionality. Firstly, it comes with some features that a lot of multifunction panels include. Such as, (2) USB 2.0 ports, (1) Firewire port, fan control and temperature gauges. What makes this panel completely unique though, is the remote control functionality.
One thing I didn’t like about the 20-in-1 Panel, was the installation. It was not easy, especially working with a smaller case. I was pleased to find out that the installation of this panel was much easier though. I was able to make all the connections, and push the panel in through the inside of the case into the drive bay. While it was still a tight squeeze, it was nothing major.
Installation was actually fun. You are required to install an antenna in a PCI slot, and connect that to the panel. I was unable to install the antenna to a lower PCI slot, because the cord would not reach, so I have installed it above the video card, as you can see in the picture.
You almost don’t even need to read the instruction manual, because all the cables are clearly marked, so you know where to plug them in. The way the panel works, is that you can plug in the Case/Reset cords into your motherboard, to replace the ones from your case. But, so that your case can still have the functionality of turning the computer on and off from the front power button, you can take the cords from your case and also plug those into the panel.
Overall, installation took around 20 minutes with no problems at all. Next came the fun part of testing it out! I quickly put together the computer, and grabbed the remote. Sure enough, pushing the power on the remote, powered up the computer without a hitch. The reset also works as intended.
The thought of driving your car into your driveway, and opening your garage door and powering on your computer at the same time popped into my head. I was skeptical that this would work at all, so I went out to the driveway to test it out. There, I pushed the button and headed back into the house. Sure enough, the computer was on!
Still skeptical, I went out into the furthest point in the backyard, around 50 feet from the computer. It still worked! In most cases then, if you are driving into your driveway, the remote control will function great. The controller is designed to go on your key chain, making things even easier.
Of course, there are more ways to make use of this feature than just pulling into your driveway. This would be perfect for your HTPC. You could sit back on your couch, and turn it on from a distance, rather than getting up to power it on. If your HTPC crashes (*shrug*) while using it, you could just hit the reset on the controller and be back up running again quickly. Since HTPC’s are always short of inside space, the temperature gauges would be welcomed as well, so you can make sure things are not getting too hot in there.
In the end, even though it sounds like a funny idea to implement into a panel, I would have to recommend it. Personally, I didn’t think there would be a need for anything like this, until after I installed it. That’s when the creative juices started flowing, and I’m sure others can come up with even better ideas.
The final SRP is currently not known, but I would expect it to be around the $25US area. Thanks as always to Logisys for sending this along, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
As always, if you have any questions or comments about the review, or just want to know something more specific about the panel, feel free to post in our related review thread. Registration is not required, but welcomed!
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