Progress marches up hill.
The answer, of course, is to slowly start trickling down the new USB-based hardware platform created for the MX-3000 and MX-950 into lower priced products. The first stop on URC’s redevelopment TripTik is to fill in an obvious model numbering hole between the MX-850 and MX-950 with – you guessed it – the Complete Control MX-900 “Genesis”, priced at $449 USD MSRP. For those of you now reaching for something to wipe the coffee off your screen, remember that the MX-900 is a member of URC’s elite Complete Control series, which is targeted to the custom installation business. Although the higher end of URC’s consumer-oriented remotes are currently looking a little long in the tooth, good (and much cheaper) things will be heading that way soon enough.
The MX-900’s “Genesis” designation should get its own entry in the “curiously named products” department, since it both breaks the former vowel theme used for other Complete Control models – Aurora, Aeros, Omega, Osiris – and isn’t the first model released or the first to do anything in particular. So, to prevent any unnecessary exercising of the marketing centers of our brains, we’ll just stick to calling it the “MX-900” from now on.
The MX-900 is smaller, lighter, curvier and – most importantly – costs less than the $699 MX-950. Understandably, it drops most of the high-end features of the MX-950 such as graphics, sounds and variables. It also cuts back on total device and command potential, but does keep many practical upgrades and would appear overall to be a perfect midpoint between the MX-950’s abundant capabilities and the MX-850’s programming simplicity and superior ergonomics.
A hard buttoned remote that’s better than the MX-850 and a third cheaper than the MX-950? Maybe the “Genesis” is the beginning of something special...
Since the good folks at Universal Remote Control continue to “not fix what ain’t broke”, the MX-900 follows the same basic design principle as its older siblings: a sizable number of real hard buttons, complimented by an LCD screen that’s used to custom label a number of adjacent multi-purpose keys. This style has proven to be one of the most popular of all recent remote control concepts, since it combines the intuitive tactile operation of a traditional hard buttoned remote with the core customizability of touchscreen models – I mean everyone likes their remote’s buttons to do what they say they will!
The MX-900 measures 2.36 inches wide, 8.88 inches long and 1.08 inches thick (6.0cm by 22.6cm by 2.8cm), although it tapers slightly to 2.13” wide (5.4cm) below the screen. While still quite long and narrow, the MX-900 shaves off three-quarters of an inch in length (1.9cm) over the MX-950 – which may not sound like much but is nonetheless quite perceptible. The MX-900 weighs 7.6 ounces (215g) with four bundled AAA alkaline batteries, or 6.1 ounces (171g) without. This is a nearly 20% initial weight reduction over the MX-950, although the difference is lessened to 10% once the MX-950’s more efficient lithium ion battery is factored in. No rechargeable battery facilities are provided, so be sure to stock up on alkalines. The MX-900 is well balanced, with the center point just below the [Cursor Up] key.