2013 Lexus GS 350: More On Remote Touch
January 7, 2012
We've written a few posts on our GS 350's Remote Touch electronics interface during the past few months. The opinions have varied so far, with posts such as This Is Silly taking a pretty negative view of the system while Remote Touch Impressions is fairly positive overall.
Since I've spent a fair amount of time with our GS 350, I thought I'd offer up some additional opinion. Since the rest of the car is so good, your reaction to Remote Touch really could really make a difference in your purchasing decision.
I can certainly understand both viewpoints, and I'll agree that the system's worst aspect is the sensitivity of its controller. It just takes a certain level of concentration to move the mouse-like cursor to where you want without overshooting your desired menu or button. Setting the controller's level of physical feedback to maximum helps minimize this aspect, but it still requires a level of concentration that could be a deal-breaker for some people.
On the positive side, however, I'd argue that Remote Touch has the advantage of being a very familiar style of interface. By this, I mean it's a lot like a personal computer with menus and a mouse, and it strikes me as very logical in the way information is organized. As such, the actual learning curve is lessened.
This might seem insignificant at first, but I'll relate it with this story: I bought my wife a MacBook Air notebook computer about a year ago. I thought she'd like it and would acclimate to Apple's interface after years of working on PCs. But that's not been the case. She's never warmed to it, claiming it's "not for linear thinkers" even though other people find Apple's OS to be superior. So I'm having to look at PCs again for her (although, ironically, Windows 8 is a lot different).
The bottom line is that I think people considering a Lexus GS really should spend some time testing with Remote Touch, particularly while driving. Your reaction will vary.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 8,178 miles