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First Look: Logitech intros $250 Harmony Touch universal remote (hands-on)

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First Look: Logitech intros $250 Harmony Touch universal remote (hands-on)

2:48 /

The Harmony Touch is Logitech's newest remote, with a 2.4-inch color touch screen and built-in rechargeable battery.

-Hi, I'm David Carnoy executive editor for CNET.com and I'm going to give you a quick video tour of the new Logitech Harmony Touch universal remote. This is the company's latest high end mile and it supports a 2.4-inch colored touchscreen and noticeably fewer buttons than other harmony remotes. The $250 clicker features the same web based programming and activity based controls that have made harmony remote so popular, but the focus here is clearly on the touchscreen, which takes up about a third of the length of the remote. The designers have made some interesting choices as far as the look and feel goes. It has a nice textured back. It's not like the backs that have that glossy finish that would attract fingerprints. The remote sits comfortably in your hand. I really like felt that said heavily used playback buttons like play, pause, fast forward, etc. have been moved from their centralized position to the very top of the remote. About that touchscreen, it's got QVGA resolution and looks reasonably sharp though it doesn't have nearly the resolution of some of today's smartphones and tablet screens. The touchscreen can be used just to select activities and devices plus access functions that don't have a dedicated button on the remote. What's also cool is that you could program the screen to respond to customize gestures such as simply swiping up and down the control volume. Clicking the favorite star on the remote brings up your list of favorite channels up 50 can be programmed then and you can add, edit and reorder your favorites right on the remote. The ability to make tweaks to the harmony touch is setup without using computer a feature exclusive to this remote. Well, that may seem like a minor feature making minor changes on current Harmony remotes is tedious process especially with the sluggish my Harmony site. Dedicated harmony fans will also appreciate that. You're my Harmony account can support multi remotes as well as import settings from an existing Harmony remote. The harmony touch also features a built in rechargeable battery that's supposed to give you about a week's worth of power with light to moderate use. With some previous Harmony models, you had to lay the remote down in its cradle to charge it. With this one, you prop it up vertically in its cradle, which is a nice change. High end Harmony fans will also note that the touch lacks RF capability, which means you cannot control devices that live inside the cabinet or a closet. Well, it should work with IR refuted accessories. It doesn't work with existing RF accessories that Logitech sells. So for Logitech, it hasn't said anything about doing a step up RF version of the touch, but it may be worth waiting for such a mile if you're setup warrants it. I'm David Carnoy and that's the first look at the Logitech Harmony touch remote. Thanks for watching.

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