Get a refurbished Logitech Harmony 650 remote for $39.99

It's a refurb, but it controls up to five home-theater devices and sports a color LCD. Great deal on a great remote!

The Logitech Harmony 650 can control up to five home-theater devices.
The Logitech Harmony 650 can control up to five home-theater devices. Ice Monkey

This is an update of a post from many moons ago.

Mo' gadgets often means mo' problems--or, at least, mo' remotes. That's why I continue to champion Logitech's Harmony series of universal remotes, which not only take the place of multiple clickers but also let you set up crazy-handy macro functions.

One of the better models, the 650, usually sells for around $80. But if you don't mind going the refurbished route, you can get one for half the price. While supplies last, Ice Monkey has the refurbished Logitech Harmony 650 remote for $39.99 shipped.

In case you're not familiar with the Harmony line, Logitech's famed wizard-driven setup software makes them easier to program than most.(Note that I didn't say "easy," but rather "easier." Some aspects can be confusing.)

You simply choose your gear (TV, receiver, DVR, Blu-ray player, etc.) from a mammoth database, configure any one-button actions you want ("turn on TV, switch to input 4, turn on Xbox," etc.), and presto: you're good to go. The Harmony is also blissfully easy to use, with guided onscreen help in case something didn't turn on or switch modes or something.

The Harmony 650 features a color LCD, backlit controls, and support for up to five devices. Alas, it's not rechargeable, so you'll have to swap in a pair of AA batteries every couple months (though you can always use rechargeable batteries, of course).

The user reviews on this model average 3.5 stars out of 5, both at Logitech's site and Amazon's product page.

Incidentally, Amazon has the remote for $60.99 new, a pretty sweet deal in itself if you're not keen on refurbished gear. The only real difference is the warranty: the refurb is backed for 90 days, versus one year for new.

On a personal note, I've had the same Harmony One (the Rolls-Royce of the series) for about three years, and it's humming along just fine. If you're still juggling multiple remotes, I think you'll find this $40 very well spent.

Bonus deal: I've never tried ShopRunner, but it sounds interesting. The service offers free two-day shipping, and free shipping on returns, for a growing number of stores (including Newegg, RadioShack, and PetSmart). An annual membership normally runs $79 (ouch), but right now you can get a one-year ShopRunner subscription for just $1. (Just make sure your mark your calendar for a year from now so you remember to cancel--assuming you want to.) If you've tried the service, talk it up in the comments.

 

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