I think Tablets and iPod Touches have some advantages as remotes. The article mentions that they can walk off with someone, but that is one of the advantages being a WiFi device I can take it with me to control any TV or Room in the house. Sliding to unlock turns into something you do unconsciously as you pick up the remote and the app is there ready to use. I find that the response time is better than your average IR remote, and you don't have to aim anywhere. And you get used to where to land your finger by memory so hard buttons aren't really a deal breaker for me.
All major TVs and Cable companies have free apps, some that give you added functionality or easier control of the smart features. It is rechargeable and you can use it to do it all on one device surf the web, control the TV, check an IP cam, allow someone in at the front door, turn on the lights, change input to the PC, use it for mouse and keyboard, make a phone call, etc. How are these affordable devices not the ultimate one device to do everything? I think it does enough of these things, well enough to qualify as a great remote.