The Best Remote in the World (Logitech Harmony)
(This is pure fanboyism. I’m not going to lie to you, it could get a little ugly and/or boring.)
I love my Logitech Harmony Remote 628. I bought it at half-price on one of those crazy online Boxing Day sales last year. I bought it knowing it was an older model, but not caring because I wanted to get out of the five remote hell I’d been sequestered in for no apparent reason for several years. It is one of the best gadget purposes I’ve made in recent times, and tonight it proved itself again.
Sure, the blue casing matches absolutely nothing in my home theatre, and I have to use Internet Explorer instead of Firefox but these are sacrifices I’m willing to make. I even shrug off the Big Brother implications of an Orwellian Logitech that knows the make and model of every piece of equipment in my den, and how often I purchase something new.
This doesn’t sound like me. The reason why might shock you. It’s because They Got It Right.
I’m blogging about it approximately 10 months after purchase because it hasn’t irritated me at all during that time period.
This is one of those kookie remotes that comes with a USB cable. Connect it to your computer, swing over to the Logitech Harmony website, and login to your user account. You’re presented with an easy to use Wizard that knows all the equipment you have. Reconfiguring the remote is as simple as adjusting the settings as much as you want on the website, for as long as you want, clicking Update Remote and then they do their magic on the Logitech website to save it all as an executable file that automatically updates your remote.
And it works. No hassle. It lets you do everything from remapping buttons to deciding which devices can be on at the same time when you do an Activity (watching TV, watching a DVD, playing X-Box, listening to music). Because the list of device is constantly maintained by Logitech, it knows what an X-Box 360 is even though the remote is much older.
It has a built-in 6-button navigable LCD display, but you’ll hardly ever use it — only when you want to turn one device on/off at a time instead of using an Activity button.
This remote is a joy to touch. It ergonomically fits the contours of your hand and the silicon buttons feel like they belong on something kept by the bedside, not by the TV.
But my favorite feature by far is the button in the middle that makes everything light up with a soft blue glow. I especially like how it’s textured differently so it’s always easy to find.
I thought the Logitech Harmony remotes were overpriced before I had one, but now I think they’re worth every penny — especially if you can get an older model on sale.
Full disclosure: Logitech’s never given me anything for free. I’ve just been happy with (most of) their products :)