Anniversaries with lovers are fraught with danger- forget them when you’ve been with someone for a long time and you get accused of not caring anymore. Make too much out of them with someone new and you’re accused of being too ‘serious’ (whatever that means). Fortunately, here at Latest Gadgets we are simpler beasts and know a good anniversary when we see one, which is why the news that it was the mighty remote controls 60th birthday led us to reflect on just how far these little arbiters of happiness have come, and in doing so offer up a little remote face-off between two high profile entrants new to the market
Logitech Harmony 300i
A very popular choice, it kicks against the traditional opinion that universal remotes are little more than a faff not worth having with the consumer having to manually program each appliance. The Harmony 300i kicks against this by requiring you to simply plug the remote into the compute, log onto www.harmony.com and input these into the site. Logitech has a list of 225,000 devices from over 5,000 brands, so even that knock-off Blu Ray you bought in Tenerife is likely to be on there. Much stock has been put by its constructers in its ease of set-up as their previous Harmony efforts were accused of being fiddly and stacked with frustrating software; the biggest indicator of this is the simple Watch TV button at the top of the remote. This being the most used function they have then clubbed DVD/CD player etc together so you scroll through them when necessary which is fine unless you have a helluva lot of machines. Reviews have been near universally positive, so we’re going to give it a…
8/10- For the Mums and Dads that want an easy ride.
Recently shot to prominence when its inventor secured a record £200,000 investment from notorious Scottish grump Duncan Bannatyne on Dragons Den, the jury is out on whether this is a gimmick or genuine solution to all the worlds remote control issues. In a nutshell, it can memorise 13 separate flicking and twisting wand-like movements from you to change channels, turn up the volume etc, and like the i300 can do so for all your home gizmos’s. Its stylised look (as in it looks like a wand and comes in a fancy box) certainly make it different from anything else out there and at £49.99 its (just) cheap enough to be (relatively) mass market, though we can’t help but think the joy of turning up the sound whilst shouting ‘voluminous uppipus’ will get pretty dull after a while and we’ll want to just press a handily placed button. Reviews, whilst being appreciative, haven’t been gushing and have criticised the long and frustrating process of programming the moves and actions. So…
6/10- Bit of a flash (or a flick) in the pan
Thus the winner is the Logitech 300i. It might not impress the kids so much but it will do what its supposed to do with the minimum of fuss and will appeal to techies and non-techies alike.