There's something immensely satisfying about using a piece of consumer electronics that seems to get just about everything right. Satisfying but not surprising, because the Logitech Squeezebox Touch is a media streamer of impeccable pedigree, harking back to 2006's Slim Devices Squeezebox. In fact the Squeezebox Touch is something of a throwback to the original Squeezebox, albeit with a few modern touches (if you'll forgive the pun), eschewing the built-in speakers of the Squeezebox Boom or the clever two-part remote/receiver system employed by the Squeezebox Duet in favour of the simple modus operandi of receiving media from a network source and delivering it to a Hi-Fi.
The front of the Squeezebox Touch is dominated by a 4.3in capacitive, touch-sensitive screen, set back at about a 35 degree angle (as is the whole thing, actually). The resolution of 480 x 272 pixels is hardly ground breaking, but it is bright, vibrant and only has to display text and album artwork anyway so that's not an issue.
The Squeezebox Touch's build quality is excellent. Okay, so the screen's glossy black plastic surround would look better in brushed metal, but it's far from unattractive. Besides, the bottom section at the front is metal adding a tasteful elegance to the overall aesthetic, and the stand is metal too. This all helps make the Squeezebox Touch feel more like £235-worth of consumer electronics than if it were all plastic.
The downside of the glossy finish is that fingerprints are all too easily picked up. Logitech does bundle a cleaning cloth, but that's quite likely to be discarded along with the Touch's manual, dooming the display to remain smudge central. Owners of curious pets and parents of small children beware.
The touch-screen interface is much better than initially expected. No doubt thanks to the use of a capacitive display, presses and swipes are registered perfectly - even the on-screen keyboard works well. The menu system remains responsive at all times, even when playing audio in the background - a feat some earlier Squeezeboxes couldn't quite muster - and there are a number of gesture-based shortcuts (swiping, press-and-hold et cetera) that can be user-customised, adding even more versatility.
Obviously there will be times when getting up and walking over to the Squeezebox Touch to fiddle with it would be an annoying inconvenience. Thus Logitech has bundled a remote control with the Touch. This is again well designed, right down to details like the notch at the rear, which pulls in your index finger and by extension places the main buttons right under your thumb - genius!
What's more, pressing any button on the remote puts the Touch's interface into a 'large text' mode, which makes it much easier to use from a distance. You can disable this if you don't like it, but it proved a definite help during our usage.