Logitech Harmony Touch Universal Remote Control

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Logitech Harmony Touch Universal Remote Control

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Logitech-Harmony-Touch-universal-remote-review-close-up-screen.jpgHigh Points
The Harmony setup wizard is still the easiest and most intuitive out there, and it's compatible with both the Mac and PC.
The Harmony Touch combines the most commonly used buttons with a fairly large, colorful, customizable touchscreen. The touchscreen includes a slider/gesture control and a colorful Favorites page. 
The remote offers the popular Harmony activity macros like Watch TV and Watch a Movie, and you can set it up to control multiple systems. It accurately detects a device's on/off state to make sure that macro sequences do not get messed up. 
Performance was reliable, and the remote executed commands quickly.
The Harmony Touch comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a charging/base station. 
The remote is fully backlit, and it can control up to 15 devices (just as many as the more expensive Harmony 900 and 1100 models).
Unlike previous Harmony remotes, this one allows you to make quick programming/layout adjustments via the remote itself, without having to sign in to the Web interface.

Low Points
The curvaceous but bottom-heavy design of the remote is awkward, especially if you have smaller hands.
The touchscreen only offers limited customization. You can add/delete/rename buttons, but you can't change the button shape or basic screen layout. 
The remote is not compatible with the Harmony RF extender.
The remote does not automatically wake up the touchscreen or engage backlighting when you pick it up.

Conclusion
Even though Logitech has technically replaced the Harmony One with the new Harmony Touch, you can still find both models for sale on sites like Amazon.com. As I write this, the older Harmony One is about $50 cheaper. So which one is the better choice? It primarily comes down to ergonomic preference. Do you prefer a larger, longer remote with more physical buttons or a smaller remote with more touchscreen options? I generally prefer physical buttons to touchscreens, but I felt that the Harmony Touch struck a great balance between the two. I liked both the layout and performance of the touchscreen, and all of the physical buttons I desired were available. I didn't mind having the number pad and page-up/down buttons reside on the touchscreen, but some users don't seem to appreciate this change. The two remotes are quite similar in functionality, but I did appreciate the new perks that the Touch brings to the table, like the Gestures operation, the Favorites page, and the ability to make programming/layout changes via the remote itself. For me, the only real concern with the Harmony Touch is its physical shape, but that's a minor quibble with an otherwise great controller. 

All that said, if you're shopping for a universal remote that's only going to control a few devices in a single home entertainment system, the Harmony Touch might be overkill. The lower-priced Harmony 650 can control up to five products, has the Harmony activities-based control and setup wizard, and currently costs about $60. What you don't get are the customizable touchscreen, the complete Favorites menu, and the rechargeable battery and base station.

Additional Resources
Read more remotes and system control reviews by the writers of Home Theater Review.
Explore more reviews in our HDTV Review section.
See reviews of AV Receivers and Blu-ray Players.
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HTR Product Rating for Logitech Harmony Touch Universal Remote Control

Criteria Rating

Performance

4.5

Value

3

Overall

4

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