There are dozens of Android-powered media center boxes on the market, most with low-power ARM processors from companies such as Rockchip, Amlogic, or Allwinner. But the Qubi Media Center is an Android TV box with the same chip found in the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S III smartphones.

The Qubi is powered by a 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor with Adreno 320 graphics. The rest of the specs are pretty nice too, including 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, an IR receiver, WiFi, Ethernet, and USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.

There’s a catch though — the Qubi isn’t exactly ready to ship yet. The developers of the project are hoping to raise half a million dollars on Kickstarter in order to build and ship Qubi boxes.

Qubi Console

The idea is to deliver a $149 box that’s both a game console and a media center. It can handle most Android games as well as most Android meia apps including Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, and Pandora.

The box also features a custom user interface to make Android easier to navigate on a TV.

It features 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port, a microSD card slot, HDMI passthrough, and support for Miracast wireless display, among other things.

The device also comes with a wireless remote which features a QWERTY keyboard on the back and air mouse capabilities. You can also use its built-in mic for Android voice commands or to make voice calls over Skype or other internet telephony services.

While it doesn’t ship with a game controller, you can use a third party USB or wireless controller for gaming.

Qubi Console devices should ship to backers in July, 2014 if the project meets its goal. If it doesn’t, the project won’t be funded at all.

Overall the hardware sounds pretty great — but $149 is a lot of money to spend today on a device that won’t ship for half a year… when the Android TV box space could look very different.

via CNX Software

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15 replies on “Qubi is a Snapdragon 600 powered Android TV box (Crowdfunding)”

  1. Without SATA connectors for installing my own 2.5″ HDD I will pass. Overpriced as for me.
    Even OUYA (with customer support, Tegra 3 inside, “wonderful” custom UI and so on, include one gamepad) costs a little bit cheaper.

  2. Always the same problem with this boxes….they don’t have TV…..and they call them TV box… ridiculous. Windows media center rules!!

  3. Except for the custom UI, I don’t see anything that distinguishes this product from the tsunami

    of generic Android boxes that are coming. By the time this chips, the no-name ARM chip vendors will
    have come out with CPUs that have matched or exceeded Snapdragon 600. I think the maximum
    price poing for such a device is $99. Google Play store compatibility is a must, using proprietary
    marketplaces would be like having a Windows PC that couldn’t run all Windows apps.

    1. I’m the founder of Qubi, the major difference’s with what I am doing and what the Generic boxes are doing is UI, Remote, customer support and Chipset. Most if not all of the generic boxes are based on either Rockchip or Amlogic SoC’s. The Snapdragon 600 my device is using has been designed for set top boxes/Tv’s (APM8064m/MPQ8064) it is actually the same chip that is found in the Xiaomi miTV. The added features like AC WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, USB 3, HDMI CEC and HDMI pass through make it impossible to get it in under the $100 mark… I have also offered a remote only option for those who already own a NUC or generic Android Box but want a good remote for XBMC

  4. You can buy a NUC for about $150.00 and they are pretty nice. The only reason to consider this is if they could deliver below $100.00 (tough I know)

    1. The NUC is a barebones, you still have to provide it storage and memory, which would bring your total up to $250. The Qubi appears to be a complete system.

  5. I guess as a slightly “non-average user,” I’d crowd fund a project that aims to build a fairly inexpensive sealed fanless Bay Trail micro box where the targetted OS’s are any desktop Linux distro (my intended plan), Windows 8 (maybe as a virtual machine) and Android x86 (pass).

    I know there’re going to be some Bay Trail based NUCs but I’m not sure if they’re going to be sealed and fanless. Also, the current fanless cases you can buy separately can cost as much or, in some cases, more than the NUC board itself. Even worse, some of the cases are almost as big as mini-ITX cases but that’s for the higher TDP Core chips.

    As for this crowd funded project, I pass.

  6. for a great majority of “average users” something like this could replace their PC. . . and would meld perfectly with their Android smartphone, IMO, just add keyboard and mouse.

    1. Why are people so obsessed with new things replacing old things? Powerful computing devices are getting so cheap, it is easy to imagine having more devices, and to use one or another depending on which makes the most sense.

      I could use a swiss army knife to field dress a deer, and then chop mushrooms and open a bottle of wine to braise it in when I get home, but that would be silly. I still carry a swiss army knife, but I’ll use a hunting knife to field dress the deer, a chefs knife to cut up the mushrooms, and a corkscrew to open the wine. Why should computing be any different?

      1. Some people like the whole convergence thing and if a company can create a device that can merge mutliple devices without making deal breaker sacrifices then I can see the appeal. In the long run, it may end up cheaper for some people.

        For example, instead of having a desktop and smartphone, you’ll have a smartphone that can have a monitor, keyboard and mouse plugged in. Then going forward, you only upgrade the smartphone. It can have the whole dual interface thing between mobile and desktop modes and have the apps synced or just be the same app under the hood but just presents a different UI based on the current mode. There can even be a TV/HTPC mode as well. There has been several attempts at this for years but it’s still not quite ready yet due to mobile hardware being just too slow for desktop type applications and the whole synced dual mode thing is still failry clunky.

        For me though, I’ll probably take a while to adopt the above because on my desktop, I want the highest possible performance I can afford. I run virtual machines, (de)compress large amounts of data and do other resource intensive tasks but for some with lesser requirements, it can reduce the number of devices they buy/upgrade in the long term.

      2. easier to use. Windows is massive overkill for most and overly complex for them to figure out, etc.

        People are “obsessed” with replacing devices, like computers, that were never designed for the average end users. Windows was designed with the enterprise in mind, and far too complex for general consumers, thus a simplified mobile os running on something like this might be much easier for them to maintain. Therefore, using your analogy, this is much more appropriate tool than a Windows PC, and price had nothing to do with my statement, easy of use did.

        1. With its heavy orientation toward a 10 foot UI this would not really be a good PC replacement. We need a good Android 2 foot UI box, and one with more RAM and supporting disk. Why? It’s a matter of Windows becoming a walled garden as the RT model takes over and the desktop gets locked down. The appeal will be to enthusiasts and small business who need a platform friendly to hobby and LOB software development and deployment.

          1. I’ve heard rumors that Android was to get a “laptop” UI. . . which should scale better on TVs as well. But haven’t seen anything official as of yet. Nonetheless, I’ve seen people use Android devices on TVs pretty well in the past. Sure, it’s not perfect but for what many need — web, facebook, email — it would suffice pretty well, IMO.

            And yes, MS is following apple into the tightly walled in garden.

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