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Logitech Harmony 1100 remote bests predecessor

The Logitech Harmony 1100 is an excellent touch-screen universal remote that corrects most of the shortcomings and frustrations of its predecessor, but its high price will relegate it to high-end home theaters only.

The Harmony 1100 is a touch-screen, tablet-style universal remote that lists for $500.

When Logitech brought out its touch-screen, tablet-style Harmony 1000 in 2007, it was clearly taking a stab at the high-end of the universal remote market. Unlike other high-end--and more expensive--models from the likes of Crestron, Universal Remote Control, and Philips' Pronto line, the Harmony 1000 didn't require hiring a professional home installer to program or update it, which made it a value proposition--even if it was relatively expensive compared with other mainstream universal remotes.

All in all, we liked the 1000, but it did have a few kinks. Users griped that it wasn't quite as responsive as it should have been (the interface just seemed to lag a bit). And the remote had a tendency to freeze up occasionally and have to be completely rebooted, which was a nuisance. And finally, there was a bug where if you'd press down on the volume button too long, the volume would shoot up (or down) at an uncontrollably fast rate. Unfortunately, subsequent firmware updates haven't appeared to fix these issues.

Enter the Harmony 1100. As its name implies, this model is an upgrade to its older brother. On the surface, the biggest differences between the two are that the 1100 is black instead of silver, it has a white instead of blue backlight for illuminating the buttons in the dark, and the volume and channel buttons have swapped places in response to "customer research."

Logitech also added small, tactile guides on the side of the screen to make it easier to find the right button (we're not sure what the point of this move is, since you're dealing with virtual buttons). We generally appreciated those tweaks, but it's underneath the hood where the real changes can be found.

Read the full review.