Elan brings home $3,350 Wi-Fi touchscreen control panel

For those with the resources to install an elaborate home theater and/or automation system in their homes, an 8.4-inch control panel that costs more than most HDTVs may not seem excessive.

Elan XP-84

For those with the resources to install an elaborate home theater and/or automation system in their homes, an 8.4-inch control panel that costs more than most HDTVs may not seem excessive. Those deep-pocketed smart-home mavens will find a lot to like in the XP-8.4—for $3,350, they better—including built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi that lets the panel double as an Internet browsing and media streaming device.

To complete the panel's PC-like functionality, the docking cradle features a USB port to let you connect a mouse or keyboard. The XP-8.4's browser even supports Flash so you can check out YouTube videos and the like on the device. Of course, it also handles the usual array of automation duties, letting you check the status of all of your linked-in controllers for multi-room A/V, lighting, security, and so on. Elan promises that the panel can last six hours away from the cradle before needing recharging.

Since it costs as much as a swanky piece of furniture, the XP-8.4 at least tries to fit in with your design aesthetic, offering a number of screen savers that can match your decor. A screenful of Benjamins probably isn't among the choices, but it might as well be. If the price isn't a deterrent, you can find the XP-8.4 at authorized dealers in your local area, who should be receiving them any time now.

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