ASUS' Qube with Google TV - Update: Hands Onby Anand Lal Shimpi on January 7, 2013 12:00 PM EST
It looks like a lot of companies are going to be dipping their toes in the TV waters this year. ASUS just announced Qube, its first Google TV device. We're on our way to meet with ASUS but for now we do have a shot of the Boxee Box-like Qube by ASUS. The Qube apparently integrates voice and motion control, although it's not immediately apparent how the latter works (it seems to be via an included remote). The name Qube comes from the cube UI that users can control with the remote or an Android app.
We just spent some time with the device, which should launch in February. The Qube uses the new Marvell ARMADA 1500 platform that other Google TV platforms use now. The Qube user interface is pretty straight forward, with each face of the Qube home to a different selection of apps/tasks. Transition animations weren;t really smooth, at least on this demo system.
The remote features a full QWERTY keyboard on the flip side, sort of like the Boxee Box remote but with a much better feel. The front of the remote has a dedicated Netflix button as well as navigation buttons as well. The remote has a built in mic for voice commands, and it also features an integrated gyro for motion sensing controls.
The chassis itself features two HDMI ports allowing for set-top box passthrough. There's an ethernet port, 2.4GHz WiFi and a USB port as well. The Qube will ship with an IR blaster with a total price somewhere in the $100 - $120 range.