The Logitech Harmony 900 is the updated Logitech Harmony One, which marries a traditional button remote with a capacitive touchscreen for expanded functionality. What makes this better are the charging dock and the RF to IR control adapters.
The Price: $US400
The Verdict: This form factor, plus the included charging dock and the RF to IR blasters make this the best remote package Logitech has right now. We've been fans of their standard remotes for a while, but combining the keep-your-eyes-on-your-tv ability of those with the extendability of their full touchscreen units makes for a winner.
If you've played with the Harmony One you should know what this remote feels like. The number keys are on the bottom, the navigation keys are in the middle and the activity keys are near the top. The touchscreen is responsive enough, and can scroll through pages of various commands for different media console items—just like their previous remotes.
The charging dock is contoured exactly like the back of the remote, taking it in lovingly into its electric arms. Imagine getting into a bathtub shaped exactly like your body—this is that, except without the water or the urge to pee.
Syncing with your computer works the same way as before, but Logitech STILL hasn't managed to enable consolidating profiles so that you can have more than one remote on an account, and hasn't come up with a way to export remote profiles to other accounts. That's a huge pain in the arse if you have multiple Logitechs, and is probably our biggest gripe with their setup.
There is one included central RF to IR blaster, with two other IR blasters that can hook up to it for a total of three IR blasters. They're meant to be used in cabinets where the door is closed, or somehow out of IR line of sight, so you can literally point your remote at nothing (it's using RF) and it'll still propagate the command through to the IR blaster. This is pretty easy to set up—there's a wizard right on the remote—and you should be up and running in a few minutes. And there's very little RF delay, so you won't have to worry about that.
The upside is that this is probably our favourite universal remote package that Logitech has made, figuring in the charging dock and the RF to IR blasters. The downside is that the whole setup costs $US400. If you're shopping for your first universal remote, this will probably be your last. if you already own a cheaper Logitech in the sub $US100 range, find a way to sell it and pick this up. [Logitech]
Best universal remote by Logitech yet
Allows extendability with touchscreen without sacrificing the usability of buttons
Price is a little high, but less than full touchscreen remotes