In Defense of the Logitech Revue Remote

Here I am defending the Google TV remote again.

To be clear, I’m talking about the Logitech Revue remote:

The Logitech Revue remote

Not the Sony one:

The Sony Internet TV remote

First off, I have a Logitech Revue, which Google sent me after Google IO 2010. I like the idea of Google TV, and the latest bump to Honeycomb has cleaned up the experience quite a bit. Protip: having Netflix makes Google TV awesome. Google needs to line up more content for Google TV, and I’m more bullish now than I was initially. Still, the device has an uphill journey.

Back to the remote, I read some criticism of the Sony remote coming out of CES, and it reminded me to write this post.

The Logitech remote looks bulky and inconvenient, but believe me when I say it’s awesome. I wish more remotes would follow in its path.

What do I like about:

  • It’s starkly utilitarian and uncompromising, no bells or whistles or tiny keys.
  • It’s a full-size keyboard (unlike the Sony remote) so typing is comfortable, and the keys are tactile, not rubber, which I prefer.
  • It’s easy to learn how to use because it’s a known quantity, a keyboard. Look at your remotes and see how similar they are; you basically have to relearn the major functions for each remote.
  • It’s wireless so unlike most remotes, there’s not IR line-of-sight limitation, which is a nice feature.
  • It’s size makes it much harder to lose, a common remote problem. It’s lightweight and thin so you can operate it with one hand, but its dimensions keep it from sinking into the couch.

It’s not just me either. My wife loves this remote too. I was actually shocked when she told me this because generally, she dislikes learning new gadgets.

Logitech got it right with this remote, whereas I’m not so sure about the Sony version.

Anyway, the point here is that utility trumps beauty in everyday devices.

Anyone out there have a Google TV? Care to comment?




  1. I hate to generalize about other people’s spouses, etc. The key here is that my borderline Luddite wife actually *likes* this remote, which surprised me greatly. It’s a testament to reusing learned behavior rather than producing a hybrid like the Sony remote or a beautiful, minimalist one like Apple TV’s.

  2. since its wireless i expect it can’t control the TV?  would be nice to have Power, Input & Volume inputs so one doesn’t have to keep a second remote around.  or is there some creative way around this?

  3. It controls the TV too, dunno how, but it does. TV type was part of the initial setup, must be a Logitech software piece.

  4. Definitely an improvement, I like it, but not better than the Logitech. I think the larger size is a big plus, plus it’s easy to use. That Sony has to be articulated to type, then mouse, then type. 

  5. I have the Sony Internet TV powered by Google TV, which has the same remote as the Sony Google TV.

    I like it enough, except for the lack of back lighting. I like to watch TV with the lights off and typing a command or a search string is a major pain when the keys are so small and you can’t see which keys are which.

  6. Interesting feedback, thanks. Backlighting would be useful for the Logitech remote/keyboard. The small keys you mention are exactly why I prefer the Logitech one, which frankly, I could operate in the  dark, since it’s a standard qwerty 🙂

  7. I think I’d eschew these physical keyboards for a Google TV app on my phone or tablet.  Not sure that I’d need a true keyboard for as I don’t plan on writing “War and Peace” on my TV.   But then again, I’m not normal so who knows what the majority would appreciate.

  8. There is a GTV app for Android 🙂 Here’s a use case for the keyboard. You’re watching something w that actor from that show, and it’s killing you. Hit the IMDB app and type like a human, then back to the show.

    I would also accept, pause the show and pick up your tablet. You get the idea.

  9. One thing I absolutely hate about the Revue remote is the placement of the back button right under the trackpad button. I don’t know how many times my thumb has wandered to the back button when I was trying to click the “mouse”

  10. Interesting, I can’t recall that ever happening to me. I do confuse the click and OK buttons frequently though. It’s not perfect, but it’s practical and more useful than people give it credit for being. Looks aren’t always everything.

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