Google Nexus Q: The A/V Android That Stays In Your Living Room

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We had been expecting to learn about Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the Nexus 7 tablet today, but Google had one more bit of Android news to share, unveiling the Nexus Q “social streaming media player”.

You can think of the Nexus Q as an Android that you keep permanently wired-up to your entertainment system, through a combination of HDMI-out with both analog and optical digital audio outputs. When hooked-up to your home network over WiFi or the wired Ethernet port, it can stream your collection of Google Play media to your TV and stereo system.

At its heart, the Nexus Q sounds very much like any other Android, with a dual-core OMAP4 chip, gigabyte of RAM, 16GB of internal flash, and support for Bluetooth and NFC. As you can clearly see, though, its external appearance is very much different from any Android we’ve ever seen before. The ring that bisects it contains 32 multicolored LEDs, letting it pulse along to music as it plays back.

If you’ve got multiple Nexus Qs in your house, you’ll be able to route music or video to one device in particular straight from your Android phone. Guests can contribute their own songs to the Q’s playlist while visiting, or just pick-up a video they have on their Google Play account right from where they stopped watching on another device earlier. It supports media on Google Play Movies and TV, Google Music, as well as YouTube.

While the Q’s optical out will interface nicely with your big surround-sound system, the device has a built-in 25W amp to drive speakers directly. The choice of banana jacks to connect them is a little odd, but it should resonate with audiophiles.

Google is accepting pre-orders for the Nexus Q now, which should ship in two to three weeks. The social streamer will run you just under $300.

Source: Google

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!