Asus Ships 'Cube' Streaming Device with Google TV
Asus is reportedly shipping the Cube, a Borg-like Google TV streaming device that first appeared as the "Qube" back in January during CES 2013. Asus said it was the first Google TV device with motion control and voice search, and features an exclusive Asus-designed user interface for better app management and navigation.
According to a Newegg listing, the Asus Cube will ship on April 25 and cost $139.99. It connects to the local network via a 10/100 Ethernet port or Wireless N, and includes one HDMI input, one HDMI output, an IR Blaster output port, two USB 2.0 ports, and 50 GB of free cloud-based Asus WebStorage. The actual dimensions on the unit are 4.92 x 4.92 x 4.92-inches, hence the "cube" name.
The specs also show that the Cube's two-sided remote includes a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a built-in microphone for receiving voice commands, a large touchpad, and a QWERTY keyboard. There's also a Netflix hot-key so that movies and TV shows through the popular subscription service is just a button-mash away.
"Motion sensing can be used with games, and Cube with Google TV can also be controlled using the Mobile Remote app for Android smartphones and tablets, available from the Google Play Store," the company said in January.
The Asus Cube is the latest in the second generation of Google TV products. Other devices on the market include the Sony Internet Player, the Vizio Co-Star, the Hisense Pulse, and several LG SmartTVs. Also slated to arrive in this generation is the Netgear NeoTV Prime and the TCL Movo, both of which were also revealed during CES 2013. Second-generation devices use ARM-based chips whereas the first generation relied on Intel.
Google TV is a Smart TV platform developed by Google along with Intel, Sony and Logitech. Currently based on Android 3.2 "Honeycomb", the platform launched in October 2010, and allows users to install specific apps from Google Play, browse the web via Google Chrome, search by voice or keyboard, and search through content pooled from a number of online and broadband sources.
To see the device listed on Newegg, head here. It's also slated to arrive at Amazon and other online retailers. Borg action figures not included, sorry.