ASUS Unveils Google TV-Powered Qube Set-Top Box

11 January 2013, 1:37 pm EST By Alexandra Burlacu email: Mobile & Apps

ASUS joined this year's International CES with a range of new products, including Qube - a Google TV-powered device shaped, as the name suggests, like a cube.

Qube comes to strengthen the company's line of home theater accessories at CES 2013, expanding its range of products. The Qube set-top box borrows some design cues from Boxee, but it does hold its own. In addition, the gadget also adds a unique cube-based interface to Google TV to match its look.

ASUS' Qube set-top box packs a Marvell Armada 1500 chipset and 1GB of RAM. Once connected to an HDTV, the Google TV-powered gadget offers viewers access to Google Play, YouTube, and Chrome, as well as the usual range of third-party Google TV apps. Qube offers access to more than 100,000 shows and movies from Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. The device packs 4GB of internal storage, and every Qube with Google TV also comes with 50GB of WebStorage cloud space.

In terms of connectivity, Qube offers HDMI-in, HDMI-out, two USB ports, Ethernet, and IR-out. The gadget also comes with its own remote control with the usual buttons on the front, along with a full QWERTY keyboard on the back. Meanwhile, voice command maximizes the functionality of Google TV 3.0.

ASUS preferred to ditch the default Google TV interface in favor of a new unique interface that would fall in line with its namesake shape. The new interface displays functions on the screen on the sides of a rotating cube shape.

Several options such as voice search and motion control allow users to navigate the Qube. Meanwhile, the Mobile Remote app allows users to control the Qube through an Android smartphone or tablet.

With ASUS' new addition to its home theater line-up, the market for such devices seems to be getting increasingly crowded and competitive. Logitech and Hisense have their own offerings in this space, while Intel and Netgear are also reportedly working on such products.

Qube is joining a popular product space and it will have its fair share of competitors. Pricing may hold the key and make a difference; however, ASUShas not announced any pricing or availability details so far. The Qube is, however, rumored to hit the U.S. sometime in March, with a $150 price tag.

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