...Continued from Page 10.|
Of manuals and batteries.
One For All has listened to criticisms about their use of little folded up pieces of paper with tiny type as manuals, and has instead bundled a substantial 6Ē by 10.5Ē (15.3cm by 26.8cm) booklet with the Kameleon. The 42-page guide is very well written and covers all remote options and use in clear English, with numbered steps and plenty of pictures. Kudos!
The remote proved to be very comfortable during use. The slim case handles great and the metal bezel has a nice cool feel to it. Remote operation is surprisingly fast, with no detectable command transmission lag Ė a problem that has been cropping up in more advanced remotes. The only nuance was the flexible control surface, which had the habit of sticking in the down position during use and then popping back later.
Battery life Ė well, it may be time to buy stock in Duracell. Although not estimated anywhere officially, it would seem that up to one month is a reasonable expectation. There is no low battery warning, but the manual does point out that if the remote displays all icons at once or if the backlight flashes on and off continuously, itís time for new batteries. Fortunately, power is not needed to save settings.
With Universal Electronic Inc.ís Kameleon technology maturing into a second generation product, itís heartening to see such obvious signs of improvement: an ergonomic case design, easier battery access that doesnít sacrifice too much of the trademark thinness, quieter (and bluer!) backlighting, easier setup via the setup menu, and a more modern button design. All are great enhancements.
Still, One For Allís standard repertoire of available features doesnít scale well to higher end remotes, evidenced by some of their other models that carry similar capabilities at one-third the cost. For the selling price of the Kameleon, I would have liked additional key customization, device-switching macros, more learning memory, less (or at least more consistent) scrolling, and improved use of the [Home], [Fav] and [PVR VOD/Preset] keys.
The popular $80-120 price range has seen many remotes that make the promise of ultimate control, but are better at delivering flashy technology Ė an economy model in luxury trim, as it were. Itís as easy to compare the stylish Kameleon 8 with equally as appealing remotes that offer greater power at twice the cost, as it is with conventionally designed remotes that may be priced less yet offer more practical capabilities. Whether you feel the need for style, power, or both will depend on your equipment, needs and pocket book.
Even with its limitations, the majority of home theater owners with 8 or so remotes cluttering their room will undoubtedly find the Kameleon 8 more than up to the task of improving the situation. And thereís absolutely no denying that the Kameleon 8 is a distinctive conversation piece! If youíve been looking for a reasonably capable remote control and donít mind spending a bit more for the glamour, the One For All Kameleon 8 may just be a perfect match.
- Daniel Tonks (Remote Central)