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Beneath the screen are 5 round device buttons, centered in a strip of light grey and ringed by chrome accents. Although the iRemote is capable of controlling up to 16 individual components, all devices are accessed through just these five keys (more on that later). Immediately below the device buttons is a 5-way menu control that, like previous similar Sunwave remotes, has been given triple-duty labels for channel and volume, menu, plus transport. Flanking the four corners of the menu controls are an additional four buttons for [Setup/Page], [Power], [Return] and [Mute/Eject]. Further down the remote’s face is a traditional 10-digit numeric keypad (missing the “Enter” key used by some brands).
The translucent white hard buttons are reverse printed in black, with secondary labels printed in white on the case’s dark grey background. The five device keys are unadorned, with their corresponding device names printed above in black – TV, DVD, AMP, STB (“Set Top Box”, the popular new generic acronym replacing Cable, Digital Cable, DSS, Satellite, DVR and PVR) and, finally, AUX.
Located in the bottom of the remote is an infrared learning eye, while the lower right-hand corner features a small PC connection port. Further up on the right side, slightly below the device buttons, is a rectangular backlight button. The rear of the remote is occupied mostly by the battery compartment, which holds four AAA alkaline batteries (included with the remote). Batteries are held securely and don’t rattle about. Hidden in the battery compartment is a small switch labelled “PROG” and “NORM”. The battery compartment’s cover fits extremely securely and actually requires a fair amount of pressure to remove.
Fit enough for a couch potato.
Ergonomically the iRemote is more than satisfactory. It’s narrower than most LCD remote controls, making it easy to hold no matter your hand size. The silver colored frame protrudes slightly beyond the back of the remote, creating a ledge for fingers to hold. All corners are smoothed off with no uncomfortable protrusions. Some slightly rough edges can be found where the two halves of the case meet, but overall fit and finish is well above average.
No ergonomic sculpting or index finger groove can be found on the back, but a textured spot used to get a grip on the battery cover does nearly as well. The remote is evenly weighted, with the balance point exactly under the quintet of device buttons.
Both the physical buttons and LCD touchscreen can be used comfortably with a single hand. The feel of the hard buttons is adequate, if a little on the soft side. The keys need only light pressure to activate, but should still be firm enough to stop accidental pressings. Tactile response is a medium-firm “click” sensation that provides sufficient feedback, while the flat-topped buttons are made out of firm rubber with a silky feel.