Asus Qube will stream Google TV, offer motion control (video)
LAS VEGAS—Asus is planning to serve up Google TV via a little black box. With the Qube, you'll get more than 100,000 TV shows and movies through Google TV, which includes Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go and a lot more. Of course, there are loads of games and apps as well.
The Qube is paired with a remote you can control via gestures and voice commands. Google TV already includes intelligence to understand your voice instructions for opening apps as well as for surfing the Web and TV channels. The back of the remote includes a hard QWERTY keyboard, which means you shouldn't experience the kind of nightmare that otherwise comes along with navigating, say, Netflix (sans Google TV) on your TV. The remote also has a Google Voice button.
Remote too far to reach? You'll get additional control from your Android phone or tablet via the Mobile Remote app from the Google Play store.
The proprietary Asus Qube onscreen interface runs Android 3.2 and is meant to let you group the apps you've downloaded onscreen into cube-like clusters for easier navigation. There's picture-in-picture TV viewing as well as the Chrome browser, too.
Asus throws in 50GB of web storage on its servers (not Google's) with the Qube, which should be released later this quarter. Pricing is unknown for now.
As for competing products, there's still no word on whether Google will pick up its on-again, off-again plans to release the Nexus Q. There are, however, new TVs with Google TV baked in. And watch out for more Google TV streamers popping up at CES 2013, starting with this one from Netgear.
Editor's note: This was updated with a link to a competing Netgear product, as well as with additional reporting by Melissa Perenson.
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