Moving to the top of the HC7000, there's nothing to look at but the curves of the molded case. From the back, just below the top, you'll see the two indicator lights (Power and Status) on the back center edge. This is due to the control panel being hidden behind a hinged door on the top that lifts from the back. The control panel will be discussed immediately below.
The inputs and outputs are located in the back, but are nicely recessed, and the projector comes with a cable cover, to help hide cabling. More on the inputs and outputs below.
The fan intake and exhaust are on the sides. Also, the left side (looking from the front) has the lamp door, to change out the lamp, and that means you don't have to unmount a ceiling mounted HC7000 to change it. My best guess is that more than half the home theater projectors still have to be unmounted because their lamp doors are on the bottom, where they get hidden by the ceiling mount.
The HC7000 remote has separate buttons for On and Off (press Off twice to shut down), as well as an Auto Position button on the top row. The next two rows provide buttons for each input source.(, HDMI, Computer, Component Video, etc.)
The three user savable memories are accessable from the three buttons on the fourth row. . This is very user friendly. I have our calibrated settings saved and use these to switch between saved modes.
Next are the four arrow keys and center Enter button for navigating the menus.
Moving to the next row: Left side is the Menu button. Then, there is a button to select different Iris options and finally, Aspect ratio change. Next come two more rows, including Contrast Brightness, Color Temp, Gamma, Sharpness and Color (saturation). Basically most features on the Image menu, can be directly accessed without going through the Main and Image menus.
The bottom row on the HC7000 remote control has one button that toggles between controlling the lens' Zoom and Focus (arrow keys handle the actual adjustment), another for controlling the Lens shift, and finally a Noise Reduction button. Zoom and focus come up in fast mode. Hitting the Enter button switches to step by step, for fine tuning.
The remote fits well in the hand, and I like that I can reach most of the buttons I would use, without having to shift my hand, or use two. Hitting any button engages the backlight - moderately bright, but could be brighter.
I also found that there was sufficient spacing in the remote that I could easily find the Menu button as well as the arrow keys/Enter buttons without having to look at the remote.
The HC7000 projector's remote control has averag range. With the projector about 17 feet from the screen and my seating positon 11 feet from the screen (28 feet total), I had only occasional success bouncing the remote's signal off of my screen and wall, to the projector. As a result, I got used to pointing it over my shoulder, at the projector. Of course I'm talking a 28 foot trip for the signal, when I try to bounce off the screen. Also, it seems to me, that high contrast gray screens, like my Firehawk G3, aren't really good surfaces for a good bounce. At slightly shorter total distances, the remote became more reliable. I conclude that if you are using a 100" or 110" screen you should have better luck (mine is 128")!