Crestron is a name synonymous with two things in the world of home automation: cost and quality. So it's always good to the see the company shed its proprietary nature and embrace an off-the-shelf consumer product. Take its new iPanel for example. Instead of dropping a few thousand dollars on a Crestron touch-panel that does just one thing, you can purchase this $500ish snap-on case with thirteen dedicated buttons for home, lights, guide, and info functions. In other words, for the half the price of a typical touchscreen Crestron touchscreen controller you also get a WiFi-connected iPad. Sounds like a winning combination to us. Look for the iPanel to get official at CEDIA next week.

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Crestron iPanel controller for iPad does twice as much for half the price