Logitech Harmony 890 Advanced Universal Remote

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The 890 is the Bentley of the Logitech Harmony remote control line, retailing for $399. That's right, a $400 remote.

We've made brief mention of the Logitech Harmony 550, with a suggested retail price of about $129, in an eBay Scavenger post and in Kevin's Buildout Tech Tour--but the 890 is serious business. With a range of over 100 feet, from anywhere around--or outside, with no line-of-site needed--your place, you can control your music, home theater system, and even lighting, the 890 is best used with electronics that can maximize it's functionality.

We could see this as being the one piece that completes a whole-apartment/home set-up, including outdoor speakers for gatherings on the patio, even if the components aren't as high-end as the 890 is capable of.

"Smart State" technology means that you can adjust what your system is doing with a touch of a button: go from watching a movie to raising the house lights and focusing the sound outside on the patio when the party moves there with the press of one button. (This type of functionality is not specific to the 890, but the whole Harmony line.) When it switches from one set-up to the next, it also powers down anything not in use, saving electricity.

The colorful background also features customizable icons and buttons, making it easier to recall what does what when. The 890 allows for the integration of 15 different devices, practically becoming a portable, whole-house computer system.

We recommend that, unless you need to be a first-adopter, to wait a bit as the price will most likely decline, just as has happened with other Harmony models.