Logitech Harmony 676

With colorful replaceable faceplates and a new keypad design, the Logitech Harmony 676 looks different from its well-regarded predecessors--but how does it perform? Check out the CNET First Take for a full preview.

Matthew Moskovciak Senior Associate Editor / Reviews - Home theater
Covering home audio and video, Matthew Moskovciak helps CNET readers find the best sights and sounds for their home theaters. E-mail Matthew or follow him on Twitter @cnetmoskovciak.
Matthew Moskovciak
Logitech Harmony 676
The Logitech Harmony 676 universal remote control builds on the success of the company's previous 659 and 688 models. It controls up to 15 devices and is available now at a list price of $230.

Upside: A new hard-button keypad layout and a selection of interchangeable colored faceplates immediately distinguish the Harmony 676 from its predecessors. But perhaps more significant is what hasn't changed: the 676 uses the same superior task-based control system found in previous Logitech Harmony remotes, and its Web-programming capability means you won't have to laboriously punch in all the codes manually.

Downside: Unlike the Universal Remote URC-200 Automator, the Harmony 676 does not have RF support, so you'll need line-of-sight contact with your devices. Other potential issues: Harmony's Web programming can frustrate the computerphobic, and its online database of product codes often requires some end-user refinement.

Outlook: At first glance, this evolutionary upgrade of the Harmony series seems to have corrected some of the minor keypad layout and tactile missteps that afflicted the otherwise impressive 688 model. Check back soon for a head-to-head comparison once we complete our hands-on review.