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What makes the MX-1000 most pleasant to hold is the wonderful tactile coating used on the case. I’ve had the pleasure of using several other remotes with a similar coating, which furnishes them with an almost "microfiber" feel. After holding a remote that uses it, you’ll wonder why more manufacturers haven’t bought the rights. Since there’s nothing worse than an expensive remote that feels inexpensive, I was pleased to see that the two halves of the plastic case fit together perfectly on all sides. All edges on the remote are well rounded with a high-quality feel, while the moderate weight of the remote gives it a commanding feel. The case cannot be twisted in any way and should be very durable over the long run.
As mentioned, the MX-1000 includes more buttons than has been the norm for touchscreen remote controls – even though the list price is far less than some. Three remote-specific keys and eleven user configurable buttons give hard button fanatics plenty of sight-unseen control over their components. The buttons themselves are extremely glossy in appearance but are manufactured from a grippy rubber material, nearly transparent in color. All such hard buttons, except for the light button, are backlit by an aqua green electroluminescent panel.
Lighting the five-way joystick wasn’t possible. Instead, the design team at Universal Remote placed a deep blue lens around the stick which highlights its position. Overall the backlight appears good for most lighting situations. Tactile response on all hard buttons is great, requiring a firm push (not too firm) before being sensed. That, of course, stops the annoying "resting hand" syndrome in its tracks. You know what I mean – when you inadvertently rest your hand on a corner of the remote, only to have the TV change channels or power off at a crucial point in a movie. Such an occurrence could, at minimum, destroy your reputation as a savvy home theater buff.
The hard button complement is nicely shaped with a good feel, although I found placement of the transport controls around the joystick a little too close to the raised blue backlit lens for complete comfort. The five-way joystick has a very firm feel – again, a benefit. The "pressing" action also requires a decided effort, which means you won’t be sending "enter" without really meaning it – a problem many joystick controls suffer from. The one nuance is that you must press the stick in exactly the direction you intend to go. For instance, if you’re holding the remote and using your thumb on the stick, the tendency will be to press north-north-west for "up" and south-south-east for "down". The remote won’t actually sense that – you must always press exactly up, down, left or right. Although that may sound awkward, I found it easy to get used to the requirement. After an hour of acclimation the remote was sensing all of my directional commands.