Logitech has just revealed its latest universal remote, the Harmony Touch. It marks the first big shift in the company's Harmony remotes in quite some time, and is designed to simplify some of the complicated controls that came with previous models.
Most controls are contained on the 2.4-inch touchscreen, but there are still some physical buttons on the device for certain functions. Logitech opted to remove number buttons from the remote, which looks quite odd at first glance. Removing these allows Logitech to trim a substantial amount of girth from the device. You can still get access to a number pad via the touchscreen, if you need to enter a channel's number.
The touchscreen has an option to store 50 of your favorite channels as icons that look similar to those on iOS devices. These feature the logo of the channel, which should make it easier to find the channel you're looking for. The screen will also accommodate any other functions that the physical buttons cannot.
The physical buttons sit above and below the touchscreen, which is the main control method for the remote. It has key buttons such as play, pause, record, a navigation pad and the like. Because there are less buttons, the ones on the remote are bigger and easier to press. All buttons are backlit, so you shouldn't have a problem using the remote in the dark.
All functions on the remote are set up through Logitech's web service. In here, you can set up activities, create favorite channels and custom icons for controlling your device. Logitech also integrated an easy way for Harmony One users to transfer to a Harmony Touch using its web portal.
The Harmony Touch can sync with up to 15 devices at a time. Logitech also claims that the remote will be compatible with 225,000 home entertainment devices and over 5,000 brands.
The remote is rechargeable, so there is no need to swap batteries. It has a stylish looking charging station that you drop the remote in when you're not using it.
The remote ships later this month at a suggested retail price of US$249. Interested buyers can pick it up directly from Logitech's website or from most major retailers.