Asus Cube Google TV box arrives April 24th for $140 or less

The first Google TV box from Asus is set to hit the streets on April 24th, and it’s already available for pre-order from Newegg, where you can reserve one for $140 (and get a $10 gift card thrown in for good measure).

That’s not quite as good as the $129 price tag we were expecting for the Asus Cube, but if you’ve had an eye on this device since Asus unveiled it in January, the wait is almost over.

Asus Cube

Like most Google TV devices, the Cube is basically a device for running a highly customized version of Google Android on your TV. While most Android apps won’t run on the Asus Cube, the apps that do run are designed for use with a TV and remote. There are also some Google TV-only apps in the Play Store, such as the Amazon Instant Video app, which isn’t available for Android phones and tablets.

The Asus Cube features HDMI input and output, an IR blaster, 802.11n WiFi, 10/100 Ethernet, and 2 USB ports. It measures about 4.9″ x 4.9″ x 4.9″, which helps explain why it’s called the Cube.

You can use those HDMI ports to connect your cable or satellite box to the Cube and then hook up the Cube to your TV. That lets you search for content from your TV service provider and from internet video services using the same interface.

Asus also provides a remote control with a built-in touchpad, a QWERTY keyboard on the back, a microphone, and gyroscopic sensor which should be able to handle pretty much any function you might want to perform with a Google TV device.

While the Google TV platform hasn’t really taken off in a big way, unlike Android it’s specifically designed for couch surfing on your big screen TV. So the user interface is a bit more living room-friendly than what you get if you buy an Android TV stick. On the other hand, those sticks tend to be cheaper than a Google TV box and they support a wider range of Android apps.

via reddit

  • Renee Auclair

    Maybe we’ll all have to wait until Apple gets the interface right for TV + apps, assuming Steve Jobs was able to get the secret sauce right when he was still able to. Otherwise, we might have the wait for the ideal solution to work its way over the next few quarters.

    As for myself, I don’t have a problem plugging in an Android tablet with HDMI port to a TV, with a Bluetooth wireless keyboard and touchpad. I would like to get apps from only one marketplace, though. I’d also use wired Ethernet for the tablet, seeing that many of the end user problems in this arena come from using WiFi.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eseale Eric Seale

    Did they update the old Marvell CPU?

    • Zaatour36

      it’s an Marvell Armada 1500 chipset, with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage.

      I’m kinda disappointed since everything at that price coming now with fast quad-core cpus, and large storage with Bluetooth included

      • http://twitter.com/EricSeale Eric

        Thanks. I’m also disappointed with Asus. They have incredible engineering talent.

      • Christopher Garcia

        No Google TV’s currently use quad core chips. The Armada 1500 is what most every current generation Google TV is based on (after they shifted away from Intel chips). Later this year after Google I/O announcements this might change.. This is not an Android TV box..(which I am guessing you are referring to having quad core, etc.)…

      • Zaatour36

        yeah true, but I’m hopeful for a faster development than what’s going on.

        hopefully there’s a mode which can enables device to equip GTV, and can switch to vanilla Android on those cheaper higher speed sticks and media hubs

  • Alan

    No Gigabit Ethernet for fast local sharing?

    Anyway, I’m really hoping for a nice fanless Intel NUC when Haswell comes out for a media server/HTPC. Too often, I encounter videos that can’t be decoded by the dedicated hardware in these ARM based devices and the CPU isn’t powerful enough for software fallback. Same for real-time transcoding for streaming to devices.

  • goldmetal

    It needs to have Miracast. The original Google Nexus Q was to be controlled by a tablet. The Marvell Aramada 1500 chip in the Qube can run Miracast. I expect Google TV to get Miracast at I/O and really, as the son-of-Q, the Asus Qube needs to be a lot more than a straight re-hash of the Sony NSZ-GS7 (which also runs on a Marvell Armada 1500 and should also get Miracast).