Android just cannot be stopped. After capturing the Smartphone and Tablet platforms, Android is all set to capture the world we see Television. Google’s Android operating system version 4.0, better known as “Ice Cream Sandwich”, has been slow to arrive on smartphones and tablets (it recently made its debut in the U.S. on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone).But Chinese tech company Lenovo used CES to unveil the world’s first Smart Television with Android 4.0, a 55-inch 3-D (240Hz refresh rate) LED model called the K91. It will be available in April — in China. Back in late November last year, Lenovo’s Chinese folks teased a certain IdeaTV or LeTV for launch this year, and now we finally get to see it in its full glory.
Lenovo is referring to the user interface as the Sandwich UI — letting you switch among video on demand, Internet apps and of course regular TV. Instead of running on Google’s own Google TV platform (which is based on Android 3.1 Honeycomb), Lenovo has customized Google’s Android 4.0 operating system to help it stand out from the oncoming rush of Google TVs made by LG, Sony and Samsung.
The TV has a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, 1 gig of RAM, a hard drive with 8 gigs of storage, plus a removable 2-GB SD card.
TV apps are customizable by Android developers. More than 100 apps are preloaded, and you’ll be able to tap into the Android Market, a Lenovo store and Lenovo cloud services — you can share music, videos, pictures and so on from tablets and phones and computers.
There’s also a built-in 5-megapixel camera for video chats, or, as is the case with Ice Cream Sandwich phones, to “unlock” the television.
(Hopefully, the facial recognition feature will work better than it does on phones.) The remote control features a touchpad, 5-way keys and a motion sensor. It can also respond, Lenovo says, to voice commands.
Lenovo boasts that its K91 TV will offer “online HD VOD … 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.”
Lenovo will also join a number of other TV manufacturers in offering voice control with natural language processing and speech recognition technology via a smart remote.
Lenovo is producing a 42-inch model, as well, but the company hasn’t disclosed any of its TV plans for the U.S. market or spilled the beans on pricing.