CES 2012: Google TV Gets New Life From Lenovo, LG, Sony and Samsung

The world’s first television based on Google’s Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system has been announced by Lenovo.

The Lenovo K91 Smart TV will run a version of Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Photo: Lenovo

It’s not a secret that Google TV is getting a revival at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, where Lenovo, LG, Sony and Samsung will show off products running the web television platform.

Moreover, Lenovo – ahead of the company’s CES 2012 keynote – announced a flurry of Google’s Android-based devices on Sunday evening. First up is the new 55-inch 3D K91, the world’s first smart TV running Android 4.0.

As the world’s first smart TV powered by QualComm’s 8060 Snapdragon dual core CPU, the K91 is also the world’s first smart TV running the Android 4.0 operating system – which will revolutionize technology in the living room.

Its smart “Sandwich” UI unites three major smart TV functions, including Video On Demand (VOD), Internet applications and traditional TV programs. The online HD VOD is tailored to an individual consumer’s viewing history, and delivers the best picture and audio quality with 3D FPR technology delivering flicker-free video on a full HD IPS panel at 240hz with SRS TruSurround.

Internet applications include thousands of choices from the Android Market and Lenovo Store, including console games. Additional smart TV features include voice control with natural language processing and speech recognition technology, allowing viewers to use voice commands to control the remote.

Video interaction is even possible with the built-in 5MP webcam, which integrates face recognition technology for security benefits and advanced parental control. With cloud support, consumers can access their favorite songs and videos with ease, share files between the TV and their tablet, smartphone or PC, and even control the TV via tablet and smartphone.

Some words, about Google TV. It’s an Android-based service that lets users surf websites and TV channels and access web applications. The first version of the platform launched in October 2010 on Logitech Revue companion boxes and Sony Internet TVs and Blu-ray players.

Lenovo additionally announced the IdeaTab S2, a tablet with a keyboard dock that is similar to the award-winning Asus Transformer Prime. Photo: Lenovo

However, version 1.0 failed to take off among the mass consumer base, and Logitech killed its Revue business last fall after suffering heavy financial losses trying to sell the system for $300 a pop.

Google Inc., hovever, refreshed its Google TV system, replacing the Android 2.1 version with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, adding access to the Android Market, where consumers can download more than 150 applications tailored for the larger screen. The search engine provider said it has seen activation rates for Google TV more than double since that launch.

LG will also show off a new line of TV sets running Google TV and powered by LG’s own LP chipset. Founding Google TV partner Sony will show off new Google TV systems at CES, and has pledged to take its system around the world in 2012. TV set maker Vizio will also hold private demos showing off their new Google TV systems in Las Vegas.

Finally, Google said in a blog post it is working with be-all consumer electronics device maker Samsung to facilitate the delivery of Google-TV powered Samsung devices to market later this year. That could be a very fruitful relationship, given Samsung’s existing allegiance to Android for its popular Galaxy smartphone and tablet lines.

The Lenovo S2 smartphone includes the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon technology and Android 2.3 operating system. Photo: Lenovo

Lenovo also announced a new Android 4.0 tablet, the IdeaTab S2, featuring a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM and a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display.

The IdeaTab S2 will be released with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and have a docking ability similar to what ASUS has done with the company’s Transformer tablets.

When connecting the tablet to the keyboard dock, the IdeaTab gains 9 hours of battery life for a total of 18 hours, access to two USB 2.0 ports, a multi-touch trackpad and an SDHC card reader.

Lastly, the company announced the new S2 smartphone, and while it doesn’t feature a much anticipated quad-core chipset, the specs are more than suitable.

The Lenovo S2 has a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor with a VGA front-facing camera and 8-megapixel rear shooter. The device will run Android 2.3 on a 3.8-inch display with Lenovo’s custom skin on top.

The IdeaTab S2 tablet, S2 smartphone and K91 smart TV are available immediately in China. Lenovo will be releasing these products worldwide at a later date. More information on these products is available at www.lenovo.com

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