The Good Sleek universal remote with beautiful-looking design; large color touch screen with custom virtual buttons and numeric keypad; recognizes limited gestures; Web-programmable via Windows or Mac PCs, but can edit commands without having to connect a computer; rechargeable via the included cradle; controls up to 15 devices.
The Bad Much more expensive than the superior Harmony 650; poorly placed "transport" buttons; lacks dedicated forward and reverse skip keys; limited customization options for the touch screen; nonremovable battery; no RF compatibility.
The Bottom Line The Harmony Touch can't justify the high price of its touch screen compared with traditional multibutton universal remotes.
Fancy touch screen fails against cheaper clickers
A touch-screen remote at first glance seems like an obvious evolution over the button-festooned scepters of yore, but the Logitech Harmony Touch is a significantly worse remote than many traditional universal clickers, like the superb and much less expensive.
The Touch evokes buttonless tablets and smartphones while still offering dedicated keys for the most important functions. Logitech's newest high-end remote sports a 2.4-inch color touch screen accompanied by 27 buttons, exactly half the number found on the Harmony 650. The $250 Touch features the same Web-based programming and activity-based controls (such as "Watch TV") that have made Harmony remotes so popular, but the focus is clearly on the touch screen, which takes up about a third of the length of the remote.
The screen has its advantages, including more flexible customization, the capacity to display a bunch of channel icons at once, on-remote editing, and support for a few gestures. But its main disadvantage -- the fact that you have to look down at the remote to make sure you're pressing the right virtual button -- is a deal-breaker for me. Logitech could have minimized this issue with better placement and selection of the hard keys, using the discontinuedas a model perhaps, but instead it plopped the screen front and center. Throw in the exorbitant price and the fact that you can (more about this later), and there's simply no good reason to buy a Harmony Touch instead of a 650.
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