Touch-screen remotes are the kings of all home theater remotes. They range in size from a few inches across to 20 inches and larger. They can be wireless or wired (using Ethernet), depending on the needs of the system. Wired remotes are more reliable and can operate faster, but don't enjoy the tablet-PC-like ease of use that the wireless touch-screen remotes possess.
Touch-screen remotes can also be mounted in-wall and are frequently called "keypads," as they increasingly have hard buttons for operation. Entire homes (with large automation budgets) can operate everything from audio to security to HVAC and beyond via these touch-screen remotes.
The programming of these high-end remotes can be quite tricky and AV integrators will tell you the success of your system has more to do with the actual programming of the remote and wiring of the system than the physical remote. Nevertheless, a big 17-inch Crestron sitting right on the control deck of your home theater is one hell of a statement as to just how cool you really are.
Many companies are using Apple's iPad as a touch screen remote.