you'll want to get their remote control (unfortunately a wired one)
Just curious, why do you think the remote is so essential?
I apologize for the slow reply. I believe that the remote is essential for a few reasons. First, for video, the power cord is short on the H4N which requires the unit to be near an outlet. This means that it's necessary to walk over to the unit and start the recording, then go back to the camera and start the video. It's easier to be able to use the remote from right next to the camera.
Secondly, by adding some distance between yourself and the recording device, you make it less likely to add in user noise, bumping, etc, when using the onboard microphones. (Similar to the reasons that you'd use a remote trigger on your camera).
More than anything, I find that where I want to be standing/sitting is rarely within arms reach of the H4n when I'm wanting to start/stop a recording. Hope that helps, sorry for the late reply!