SmartKey TV is another portable TV device that slots into the HDMI port of your telly, instantly upgrading it to an Android 4.0 ICS-running smart TV. Connecting to your home network via Wi-Fi (b/g/n) the SmartKey TV lets you browse the web and access Google Play games and movies quickly and easily.
Available to order now, the SmartKey TV is very similar to the Pocket TV and Android Bar gadgets we’ve seen. Someone needs to invent a new term for this kind of product category - Donglebox? Stick Telly?
Whatever term ends up getting adopted, the SmartKey TV can be snapped up on its own now for £92 (€99.00 + €17.89 for shipping converted). Alternatively, you can bundle in the Key Touch G-remote controller as well. Looking quite a bit like an iPhone 4S, this incorporates a full Qwerty keyboard on one side, media controls on the other and has a 3-axis gyroscope for motion controls.
Bought on its own the G-remote is €30 but if you want you can get it bundled with the SmartKey TV for £120 (from €151.57) including shipping.
Liquid TV, the company that makes SmartKey TV, talks of a remote control phone app for use instead of the G-remote, but there’s no trace of it on Google Play, App Store or (long shot) the Windows Marketplace. We’ve asked for a bit more info on this and are waiting to hear back, in case you wanted to save £30-odd.
The SmartKey TV itself is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, a Mali 400MP GPU, 2 USB ports (one for power) and is DLNA compliant. Well, as ‘compliant’ as DLNA gets...
512MB of RAM handles processes, meaning that it might not be great for Android gaming in the living room. For that you might want to consider investing in the OUYA console or waiting for the SmartKey TV 2.
In development now, the SmartKey TV2 will come with either a dual or quad-core processor, a more powerful GPU and 2GB of RAM plus Bluetooth and other features. This is due out in the second half of 2013 - we'll keep you posted.
Until then, check out the video below for a hands-on idea of how the first-gen SmartKey TV works.