The Mini-VCIs that are often talked about Toyota forums are less than a tenth of that price (more like a twentieth, even), and you have to understand that is only possible because they are offshore counterfeits of a product that was already a knockoff. (The real Mini-VCI was made by an outfit called XHorse, and I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s even possible to get a real one any more; the counterfeits drove XHorse right out of making their own product.)
Many of us have gone with using the Mini VCI cable with Toyota Techstream software, and it’s mentioned as an improved variation on this theme. You can get Mini VCI with software from any site with professional tech support like chinacardiags.com (Not Amazon or Ebay). Need a PC or laptop. I actually use an old desktop which is a little less convenient than a laptop.
I used a Mini VCI for years. For the most part they work. On some cars they will not be able to connect or cause error codes.
The cheap Mini VCI uses firmware 1.4.1. There are more expensive versions out there that have newer firmware 2.0.4.
On my 2006 Prius.
Version 1.4.1 instantly disables the car and reads a bunch of “U” codes. U codes are can bus communication errors. It is the Mini VCI causing the errors.
Version 2.0.4 will connect and read codes. It is very slow.
The VXDIAG VCX Nano uses it’s own firmware. It connects and reads codes much quicker than a Mini VCI cable.