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Logitech launches budget Harmony remotes

Logitech launches budget Harmony remotes

The Harmony 650 joins its monochrome-screened brother the 600 at the budget end of the range, at £69.99 and £49.99 respectively.

CeBIT 2010:
Logitech has announced a pair of new entries into its range of Harmony intelligent remote controls, both aimed at the budget end of the market.

The first new entry for the range is the Harmony 600, which is able to communicate with up to five devices and features a backlit monochrome display in the centre to allow full customisation. In keeping with the existing Harmony range, the device has the one-click activity button which allows a range of actions - such as switching on a TV, amp, and satellite receiver while switching each to the right channel - with a single press.

If the Harmony 600 is a bit spartan, Logitech has also announced its bigger brother - the Harmony 650. While many of the features are the same, the 650 replaces the monochrome display with a full colour version. As with the Harmony 600, the 650 can be programmed with the controls for up to five devices.

For those unfamiliar with the Harmony range, they're not your average programmable remote: rather than learning from existing remotes, the Harmony range is programmed via a PC - and with support for 250,000 across 5,000 brands, you're likely to find what you need.

Both devices are expected to launch in the US and Europe by the end of the month, priced at £49.99 and £69.99 respectively - significantly cheaper than the existing Harmony 700 at £99 and the touch-screen flagship Harmony One at £169.

As well as the remotes, Logitech used CeBIT to announce a new portable speaker for laptop users - the Z205. Designed to clip on to your laptop and powered via USB, the Z205 attempts to fix the problem of weedy, tinny speakers fitted to many laptops without causing the additional problem of needing more power or a desk to sit an extra speaker on. Mark Schneider, vice president of Logitech's audio arm, explained that the design is an attempt to "help people get better audio while enjoying their favourite shows or music without sacrificing portability." At 1.35" thick and 2.5" tall, they might just have managed that.

Again, the Z205 is expected to become available by the end of the month with a recommended retail price of £34.99.

Are you tempted by the new, budget Harmony remotes - or does the idea of a decent speaker that doesn't take up a desk have you salivating with desire? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

10 Comments

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licenced 4th March 2010, 11:42 Quote
£50 is tempting -£100 was always too much for the previous models, but the 600 sounds about right - who needs a colour screen when all you're doing is changing channels etc.
Hg 4th March 2010, 12:16 Quote
I picked up a harmony 885 from play.com for £49 a few years ago (now back to over £100) and it has been a god send.
It currently controls 7 devices of me and means i only need one remote.
Sure they take a while to set up but once there working your never need to set it back up again.
I love that fact that when i press 'watch movie' for expample it will turn on tv, change tv to HDMI, turn on blur-ray player, mute tv, and then turn on surround sound and select the right channel on the amp. All of that from one button! and you can set it up to pretty much do that and much more for everything you own!
Good move Logitech ;)
eddtox 4th March 2010, 12:25 Quote
I'm hoping we'll get a decent IR remote app for the N900, but if we don't I might be tempted to get this. OTOH, I don't have a TV/HiFi/etc any more so I'm not sure I need it :-P.
DbD 4th March 2010, 12:59 Quote
Picked up the harmony 785 for £65 recently and it's works great. If you can find one cheap (they are end of range) then they are a step up on the budget remotes shown here for the same money.
Xir 4th March 2010, 13:00 Quote
They can be very usefull.
Though (quite) expensive, slow and prone to hickups (as soon as one of the devices is not in the expected state, everything goes wrong)
If you belong to the species that turn their devices off stanby at night for instance.
kempez 4th March 2010, 13:48 Quote
I've got two harmony One's (both bought at the offer price of £65). They really are fantastic, especially in my AV romo where I've a whole load of stuff I need to control. I've also got the Harmony PS3 adaptor which does the whole lot and is invaluable for Blu Ray watching.

All in all, Harmony remotes rock :)
johnnyboy700 4th March 2010, 19:12 Quote
Yep, I've got a Harmony 1and its simply the best universal remote I've tried, sits nicely in the hand with good battery life even with the colour screen, although the intial set up can be a bit iffy.

The software definitely doesn't like you having a virus scanner running when you download to the handset and I foolishly fretted over finding the exact model of my TV only to find the website automatically found an equivilent which worked just fine but you don't find that out until afterwards.

I'd recommend the Harmony range to anyone, much better than any of the All for One controls which I found very heavy on the batteries and I had all kinds of glitches with the Kameleon.
HourBeforeDawn 4th March 2010, 20:23 Quote
I love my Harmony One remote, worth every penny.
Lazarus Dark 5th March 2010, 14:28 Quote
The lack of bluetooth on even the high end remotes is just rediculous in 2010. It costs nothing to throw it in. I'd also want uhf so it could control my dish network dvr. Otherwise, I can't really have a single remote (I'm not switching it back to ir, it's in a closet!)
B3CK 8th March 2010, 06:11 Quote
I love my harmony remote, but I agree with Lazarus Dark, it does need BT, even if just for PS3.
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