Review: The Logitech Harmony wireless smart keyboard, couch surfing at its finest

Harmony 1_Fotor

Casual couch gaming has never been easier or simpler than with the Harmony.

What exactly do I mean by couch gaming? Well if you haven’t watched the video below yet, it’s something that has been growing increasingly popular with games such as Hearthstone and MMO-gamers looking to put in a few hours of farming. It isn’t necessarily what it was designed for, but it may have been overlooked in value for the growing PC couch gaming audience. While the Logitech Harmony does provide hours of laid-back entertainment, it masks a small secret. Retailing at $149.99, it’s also a pricey gadget, with only one real annoyance.

Design

A device designed for the living room absolutely needs to be aesthetically pleasing. The Harmony keyboard doesn’t exactly catch the eye, but it does blend in quite nicely. A rough, black, rubberized (Ice) finish coats the Harmony in quite the elegant fashion. If you’re looking for a product that looks great, it’s the peripheral for you. Word of warning, do wash your hands before use, as dead skin and dirt will stick to the Harmony like glue.

Harmony 4

The keys are coated in high quality anti-ghosting finish. Both the track-pad and “mouse” buttons have been performing wonderfully, and don’t stain easily. The Harmony also has an indented groove on the underside, providing efficient stability during use and resting wherever you put it.

The hub station for this device does catch dust quite frequently, and it isn’t the smallest Bluetooth station either. All accessories for the Harmony are also black, matching the overall aesthetic theme.

Harmony Tools 1

Specs

Keyboard –

  • Harmony one-touch Activity-based control (up to 6)
  • Controls up to 8 devices
  • Integrated touchpad for navigation on PC, Mac, and PS3***
  • Type and navigate on PC, Mac, Apple TV, Roku, TiVo, Xbox, and PS3***

Hub –

  • Bluetooth connection to PC, Mac, Apple TV, or PS3***
  • Compatible with over 225,000 devices and 5,000 brands of AV equipment
  • Control devices behind cabinets or walls

¬†App –

  • Easy setup via smartphone
  • Display up to 50 favorite channel icons
  • Gives your smartphones the power of a Universal remote
  • Personalize each smartphone in the house

logitech_harmony_link_app

While I wasn’t able to test out the Harmony with the PS3, I will vouch that it works wonderfully with the Xbox 360 and any PC-based system. The Harmony’s range seems around 20 feet, but just in case, we also get a nice little signal extender (IR Repeater). A few of the features did seem somewhat redundant though. My first issue, and possibly my biggest complaint about the Harmony, is its reliance on batteries. Any wireless keyboard with a price point of over $100 should be absolutely rechargeable.

You heard that right, folks, you’ll be sticking to AAA for a while longer, as this device just couldn’t go ion. Although you’re limited to copper-top, I have to mention that battery life is quite exceptional. After 40+ hours of continuous use, not a single key was dropped.

Switching between devices connected to your wireless network was an absolute breeze. Once profiles are setup, you can jump from 360 to PC at the touch of your fingertips with just one click. That’s perhaps one of the Harmony’s greatest strengths, its software.

Harmony_Smart_Control___Fernbedienung_fuer_iPad__iPhone___Android_.jpeg-d1f066bc39cbe1c9The Harmony App is absolutely the easiest way to navigate your connected device when watching movies or shows. Being able to use both your smartphone and keyboard give you the option of never leaving your seat, and we love that.

Here’s what you’re getting with the bundle purchase:

Harmony Group

  • Harmony Smart Keyboard
  • Harmony Hub
  • 2 USB receivers
  • USB extender
  • Power adapter
  • IR blaster
  • USB cord

Setup and Use

The Harmony hub is the true hero of this bundle. It’s amazing how many devices it can recognize right off the bat. I even found my Chromecast (which was collecting dust) just waiting for an opportunity such as this. Logitech really makes setup simple for both new users and experienced techies. While some dislike the need for an App, it just flows really well with the entire concept of this device; one, unified system for those who don’t want to hassle with tons of remotes.

Following the setup wizard, I was able to create profiles for multiple devices, and within minutes had a functional wireless keyboard across multiple platforms.

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Final Reaction

Apart from limited battery life due to its dependence on AAA batteries, it’s difficult to find any true fault with the Harmony. Everything about it screams of quality, and with a 1 year warranty, you’re set for a good while. It’s the definition of a great product, a solution which works for both the tech-savvy and those who don’t want to spend a full day figuring out how to connect a wireless keyboard to multiple devices. The Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard, in companionship with the Harmony Hub, makes for a fantastic experience, allowing us to be even lazier from the comfort of the best seat in the house.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

Harmony 3

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Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian
Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian 397 posts

Adam "kharakov" Kharat is part nerd, part geek, and full awesome. With deadly writing skills and the sleeping habits of a jackrabbit, late night gaming sessions are all but mandatory.