I received my Xtool VAG401 scanner recently around $40 with $29.5 shipment to my place. Tried it out straightly on my 2005 Passat and found it quite easy to use. If you have used VCDS VAG COM cable, you can probably figure out how to use this without reading the manual!
They include a reader. They also include a USB cable. The only use I have seen for the cable is to power up the unit from a USB port instead of your car. It is hand-held diagnostic tool with 160*160 LCD screen and no need to use a laptop or computer when diagnosing.
The OBDII 16PIN cable that hooks between the XTOOL VAG401 scan tool and the car is a straight thru cable. There are no components in the back shell of the OBDII connector. The other end has a 15 pin male d-sub connector.
I was able to use mine to read out the key code from the dash. I verified that it was the same as one I had gotten previously from VAG-Tacho. It reads error codes just like VCDS, although there is no autoscan function to scan all modules that I can find. It has successfully found all installed features on both my Passat and my friend’s Audi Allroad. Both of cars are dual k not CANbus. I have not tried it on CANbus car yet.
The best way I can describe the interface to the modules is the older VCDS lite interface. The original modulemenus were almost a copy of VCDS, although the latest update simplified them somewhat.
It supposedly can match keys to the dash / immobilizer, although I have not tried it. It has a few other functions that VCDS does not have, such as mileage changes, oil reset, SRS reset etc. It can code modules, do adaptations, etc.
I figured out to update mine. Download the update application from the xtool website, and use the VAG401 serial number as the user name, and the password from the about screen as the password. You do not need to register. I downloaded the updates, and it said the update was successful. When I started the diagnosis, it loaded a new .bin file. Menus changed somewhat, and new options were added.
I got it in a couple of days. If you travel a lot, you can keep it in the car. You do not need a computer or power supply to use it, which is convenient. I can’t speak for how well it works on other cars but works fine on my 2005 Passat.