The Morning After: The end of the line for Harmony remotes

Harmony's universal remotes are fading away, and there's a $699 Optimus Prime robot you should see.

Kris Naudus

After years of neglecting its Harmony product line, Logitech finally confirmed it’s getting out of the universal remote business. A post on the company’s support forums explained that once current stock sells out, that will be it — they’re simply not manufacturing the devices anymore.

Logitech Harmony remote
Kris Naudus / Engadget

Logitech says it will continue to support existing devices, and that “We also plan to continue to update the platform and add devices to our Harmony database.” However, in a world where people have consolidated their living room setup with HDMI-CEC controlled sound bars, frequently opt for streaming services instead of standalone Blu-ray players, and have AI assistants from Amazon, Google or Apple to control everything, the market is more of a niche than ever.

Could they have developed a better universal remote control that would pull everyone back in? Modernization efforts ranged from awful (remember the Revue?) to passable (the way current devices link to AI tech and your smartphone), but if there’s a better way, Harmony won’t be around to find it.

— Richard Lawler

This $699 Optimus Prime toy transforms and rolls out all by itself

Robosen Robotics' collectible responds to voice commands and can be programmed.

Optimus Prime

Hasbro teamed up with Robosen Robotics to make this Optimus Prime figurine a programmable robot that can actually move: It can automatically transform into a vehicle, and vice versa, walk in robot form and race in vehicle form.

The robot responds to a variety of voice commands that include "move forward," "roll out," "move left/right," "volume up/down," "shutdown," "open fire" and "attack," among many others. You can also tell it to "say hello" or ask it "Who are you?" The actions come with sound effects and, for some of them, spoken dialogue by Optimus Prime's original voice actor Peter Cullen.

It's now available for pre-order from the Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest website for $699, with a shipping date listed for October 1st, 2021.
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This week's best deals

Over 50 percent off Beats' Solo Pro headphones and more.

M1 Mac

A bunch of Apple devices went on sale this week across the web. Beats' Solo Pro headphones are more than 50 percent off right now and the MacBook Air M1 remains at its lowest price yet. Fitbit's sale on Charge 4 trackers knocks $50 off their normal prices and, just before the weekend kicks off, Best Buy began a new three-day sale so we scoured the deals to find the best of the bunch, like this $900 Surface Laptop 13.

Here are all the best deals from the week that you can still snag today, and remember to follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for more updates.
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The Engadget Podcast

Michio Kaku on 'The God Equation,' LG gives up on phones.

Engadget Podcast logo

This week on the Engadget Podcast, physicist Dr. Michio Kaku joins Cherlynn and Devindra to chat about his new book, The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything. He dives into the trouble with the Standard Model of physics, this week’s surprising news around muons and why believes we’ll eventually unite with superintelligent robots and roam the cosmos as beings of pure energy. (Hey, it could happen.) Also, Chris Velazco joins to get up in his feelings about LG abandoning the mobile market.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts or Stitcher.
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TP-Link's latest WiFi 6 router packs 4.8Gbps speeds at a reasonable price

If you can’t wait for WiFi 6E routers later this year, this will probably fit the bill.

TP-Link router

TP-Link has introduced the Archer AX5400 (aka Archer AX73), a WiFi 6 box that promises speedy access while keeping the price vaguely in check. The dual-band device mates six antennas with newer tech (such as HT160 and 1024-QAM) to deliver 5.4Gbps of total bandwidth and 4.8Gbps with WiFi 6.

The AX5400 is available now through Amazon for $200. It's not the lowest-priced WiFi 6 router you'll find (TP-Link's range starts at $90), but it arguably strikes a better balance between the modest speeds of the AX3000 and the spare-no-expense AX6000.
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Yahoo Answers is shutting down on May 4th

After that, you may never know how babby is formed.

Yahoo Answers will shut down on May 4th, 2021. The website has been around since 2005, making it one of the longest-running Q&A platforms on the internet. The shut-down process starts later this month, and the site plans to stop accepting new submissions from April 20th. After May 4th, you'll have until June 30th to download an archive of content you posted to the website. When the dust has settled, eventually the Yahoo Answers webpage will redirect to the Yahoo homepage.
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Will Samsung make OLED TVs in 2022?

Rising prices for LCD screens and low yields of Samsung’s QD-OLED panel could force a switch.

A rumor in a South Korean business journal claims that electronics giants LG and Samsung are close to making a deal on OLED panels. While Samsung has so far resisted using the technology in TVs, opting to stick with quantum dot-filtered LCD panels, LG has won awards for the quality of its 4K OLEDs. The rumor suggests that Samsung could buy panels from LG and make its own OLED TVs as soon as next year.
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Google says the Pixel 5a 5G is coming this year despite rumors

Supply chain issues will limit its release to the US and Japan.

“Pixel 5a 5G is not cancelled. It will be available later this year in the U.S. and Japan and announced in line with when last year’s a-series phone was introduced," a Google spokesperson told Engadget in a statement.
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The best wireless headphones you can buy right now

Sony, Bose, Apple and even Razer have headphones worth considering.

Billy Steele / Engadget

When it comes to wireless headphones, the over-ear noise-canceling models typically offer the most comprehensive set of features we want. The best options combine stellar audio with powerful active noise cancellation (ANC) and other handy tools to create as complete a package as possible. Billy Steele walks you through the best over-ear options currently available.
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But wait, there’s more...

The next Star Trek movie is scheduled for 2023

Senators criticize Apple's refusal to testify in hearing on app store rules

'Vokabulantis' turns photogrammetry and stop-motion into a poetic platformer

Theragun's pricey massage gun delivers on its muscle recovery promise

THX's Onyx is a tiny USB-C headphone DAC that supports master-quality audio

GE is working to put COVID-19 virus-detecting sensors in phones

There's a way to upgrade an M1 Mac's memory and storage — if you have a soldering iron

Sonos and IKEA are developing new Symfonisk speakers that hide in plain sight

Sonos Roam review: The right speaker at the right price

Can a gaming mouse filled with holes really be water resistant?

How gadgets could unlock the potential of lucid dreaming

Bad Password: Encrypted messages aren't the same as private thoughts.

GM is betting its electrified future on a revolutionary new battery system's Xupermask is a $299 HEPA face mask with ANC earphones built in

Sony's LED Bravia TVs with 'cognitive intelligence' start at $1,299

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