...Continued from Page 1.|
“A little off the sides, please...”
While most hard-buttoned remote controls are long, thin and narrow, the RM-AV2500 is the opposite: short, wide and thick, roughly the size of a paperback novel. Sporting a large landscape-oriented LCD touchscreen display at the top with a generous sprinkling of hard buttons below, the RM-AV2500 presents a “high tech” look that’s more current than the RM-AV2100, but not quite as sophisticated as the RM-AV3100.
The remote measures 7.0” long, 4.3” wide and 1.6” thick (17.9cm by 11.0cm by 4.1cm). This is about one half inch (1.5cm) narrower than any previous model, with a maximum thickness about halfway between the RM-AV2100 and RM-AV3100. The RM-AV2500’s control surface is angled towards the user and tapers to as little as 1.0” (2.6cm) thick at the bottom, but unlike the sleeker RM-AV3100 its face is perfectly flat without a slimming bend in the middle. This makes the RM-AV2500 feel somewhat larger than the RM-AV3100, with a midpoint measurement approximately one third thicker.
The RM-AV2500 is the lightest model in Sony’s touchscreen series, weighing 12.0oz (342 grams) with batteries or 8.6oz (242 grams) without. This compares well to the RM-AV2100 at 9% heavier or the RM-AV3100 with 12% more weight. Although those percentages may not seem like much on paper, the difference between the three remotes is quite noticeable when held. The RM-AV2500 feels about the right weight for its dimensions: not too heavy and not too light.
A new button layout.
Rather than tweaking the RM-AV3100’s pre-existing design into a less expensive unit, Sony opted to start from scratch. Although one glance will tell you that the RM-AV2500 is still closely related to its siblings, I was intrigued by a few of the changes.
At the top of the remote is the RM-AV2500’s characteristic touchscreen, measuring 3.54” wide and 1.96” high (9.0cm by 5.0cm), with a 4.0” diagonal (10.2cm). This is about 14% less surface area than the RM-AV2100, a reduction that has been reflected in the remote’s narrower case. Since the LCD keys haven’t been made smaller, something else obviously had to be sacrificed – namely one vertical column of buttons.
You won’t find the customary selection of system macro and device buttons below the LCD screen; instead Sony has pushed up the [Menu], [Volume] and [Channel] buttons. The [Volume] and [Channel] toggles have been placed on the right side of the remote and paired with [Mute] and [Recall] (AKA “Jump”) keys. Although I wasn’t expecting this change – Sony has always placed those particular functions in the bottom right-hand corner of the remote – it makes perfect ergonomic sense. Now whenever the remote is held in my right hand, the oft-used volume and channel keys fall naturally under my thumb. And, since the RM-AV2500’s weight is centered perfectly under those keys, I no longer have to play a counterbalancing act as I did when sliding down to reach those controls on previous models.
To the left of the toggles is a standard 5-way cursor key arrangement with matching [Menu] and [Exit] buttons. Below are three direct-access macro keys marked [A], [B] and [C], plus one labeled [More] for further on-screen macros. Next to those keys are [Light] and [Commander Off] buttons, used for turning the LCD backlight on and the remote off, respectively.