Lenovo’s certainly been busy at this year’s CES; we’ve already seen their new hybrid ThinkPad X1 and T430u ultrabook, and now it’s time for round 3: the smart TV.
If there are two underlying themes at this year’s event, it’s certainly the presence of ultrabooks and smart TVs. Lenovo’s ultrabook effort was a valiant one, with a nice entry price point of $849 and a wide choice of hardware. The TV on the other hand? Well Lenovo has certainly pushed out the boat on this one, fitting it with an array of very impressive technologies.
Whereas most of the manufacturers at CES are showing off smart TVs that are focused around the television, optimising software that has been designed for the big screen, Lenovo is placing its bets on Android 4.0. That’s right, Ice Cream Sandwich is coming to your television!
This 55-inch set is undoubtedly powerful, packing some serious hardware in that thin frame. Behind the scenes you’ll find a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, and the TV can be controlled using voice commands so that you can sit comfortably on your sofa and control your television without moving an inch. Is voice control not good enough for you? How would you feel about utilising video interaction with facial recognition through a 5-megapixel webcam that’s built in to the TV at the top of the screen? Gone are the days where you’ll be looking for a pesky little remote to change the channel!
Speaking of remotes, I don’t know whether Lenovo’s is pesky or little, but it does contain a touchpad, 5-way d-pad and motion sensor. From that description, it sounds as though Lenovo is planning on pairing the world’s most advanced television with the world’s most advanced remote.
Lenovo is calling the Android skin that sits on the K91 its smart “Sandwich” UI, which unites three major smart TV functions, including Video On Demand (VOD), Internet applications and traditional TV programs. Thanks to a built in 802.11n Wi-Fi chip, you won’t have to trail an ethernet cable across your living room floor to access those internet applications, either. There is 8GB of internal storage also built in to the TV, in addition to a 2GB removable SD card.
The unit clearly has Google’s seal of approval as you can access the Android Market straight from the word go without making any modifications to the software. It looks like the TV supports regular Android applications, with the press shots including an “Asphalt 6” tile on the main screen. Just how those applications will look on the massive display, however, is another matter entirely. Android applications simply aren’t made to look good at 55-inches, and games could have the tendency to look somewhat blocky and low-res. Hopefully, we can get more information on this as the K91 becomes available.
The K91 TV is available immediately in China, and Lenovo will be releasing these products worldwide at a later date. Unfortunately we don’t have any concrete dates or pricing available yet, so how much this thing will cost is anyone’s guess. It certainly won’t come cheap, that’s for sure!