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Philips Prestigo SRT9320 universal remote mixes touch screen with hard keys

The new high-end Prestigo universal remote hopes to combine the best of both worlds.

Philips Prestigo SRT9320

The Philips universal remote line has a new top dog. The Prestigo SRT9320 combines a 2.8-inch color touch screen on the top half with hard buttons on the lower portion. The screen handles both channel favorites (replete with familiar icon logos) and customized commands. The SRT9320 can control up to 20 devices, and it's completely programmable as-is--including learning modes and multidevice macros--without the need to connect it to a PC. (A USB port is included only for future software updates--presumably things like additional channel icons.)

While the Prestigo SRT9320 has a premium $249 price tag, it's missing such high-end niceties as RF control and a charging cradle. And while Philips touts the fact that you don't need a PC to program the SRT9320, we've found that to be a big advantage when dealing with sophisticated multidevice macros (something the task-based Logitech Harmony models handle with aplomb). By comparison, the Logitech Harmony One also has a touch-screen/keypad design (and a rechargeable battery), and it can be found for less than $200.

The SRT9320 will be available in the first quarter of 2009. In the meantime, a trio of more affordable Philips Prestigo models are currently available, all of which include a color LCD screen: the SRU8008 (controls 8 devices, priced below $100); the SRU8112 (12 devices, scrollwheel, also sub-$100); and the SRU8015 (15 devices, scrollwheel, wider form factor, under $180).