The Good Logitech's first universal learning remote to incorporate both IR (infrared) and RF (radio frequency) wireless operation includes a rechargeable battery and docking station, an RF base station, a DVR-friendly button layout and backlit keys. As with other Harmony remotes, the Logitech 890 is Web-programmable and is compatible with Windows and Macintosh machines.
The Bad Compared to the IR-only 880, the Logitech Harmony 890 is pricey. Its Web interface may intimidate nontechie users, and it lacks the Wi-Fi connectivity that's beginning to appear on some rival high-end remotes.
The Bottom Line While it isn't perfect, the Logitech Harmony 890 should be near the top of your list if you're in the market for a sub-$400 RF remote that can operate equipment that's hidden behind cabinets or closet doors.
Logitech Harmony 890
Editors' Note: From 2007 onward, Logitech included redesigned charging cradles with the Harmony 890. While 890 owners who purchased the unit with the original cradle are now out of warranty, they can contact Logitech customer service to receive a 50 percent discount on new products. (Given the age of this product, CNET suggests choosing the similar RF-equipped Harmony 900 or Harmony 1100 instead--just be aware that those products do not support macro-based programming.)
If you've followed the evolution of Harmony universal remote controls, you know that the Logitech Harmony 880 was the first Harmony remote to feature a color screen and a built-in rechargeable battery, along with a docking station. We rated that 880 very highly but noted in our review that we'd like to see an RF version--unlike IR, which is limited to line of sight, RF passes signals through walls and cabinets--that would appeal to people with hidden components and possibly multiroom setups.