There’s something undeniably satisfying about reclining on the sofa with a universal remote, safe in the knowledge that the five zappers it’s replaced are lying redundant in the loft. Our favourite so far has been the Logitech Harmony 1000, and the 1100 is its successor.
It’s still a lightweight, slim device – almost too unassuming considering the price – with the key focus being the programming of ‘activities’ (for example, ‘watch TV’ or ‘play a game’), which are accessed using the 3.5in touchscreen.
All the programming of your Harmony 1100 is done via your computer, and we’re happy to report it’s compatible with both PCs and Macs.
Once you’ve installed the software, you need to connect the remote to your computer and enter in all the products in your system that you want it to control. Logitech has an extensive, constantly updated database of products, so it’s unlikely you won’t be able to find your kit.
You can then program activities, such as watching TV or watching a DVD, and set the necessary machines to be on and also on the right inputs. Then, at the touch of one button, your system is primed for action.
Both the programming of the remote and the interface seem faster than before, and a few tweaks to the button layout and feel of the unit are welcome.
For example, Logitech’s customer research showed that the volume and channel buttons should be the other way round, so they are.
Still, we don’t feel there’s enough extra for previous owners to get excited about. After all, the Harmony 1110 is £70 more expensive than its predecessor, and at the time of writing the 1000 was available for under £200.
What’s more, we were surprised to discover that the programming of ‘sequences’ is no longer present. This used to mean one button could represent a number of key presses – for example ‘menu’, then ‘languages’, then ‘Spanish’ – but this is no longer onboard.
The Harmony 1100 continues the fine work of the 1000: don’t be dissuaded otherwise by the four-star verdict.
But we don’t think it does enough, or offers enough of an improvement, to justify the hefty price increase. If you have the money, this is a fine product; but when it comes to performance-per-pound the Harmony 1100 is good, just not great.