Logitech Revue with Google TV full review - Page 3

There are other complications too, like the way the search results are primarily Google TV listings and for built in services, rather than actual Google web search results. Combine this with the fact that most of those services and results don’t work in the UK and you often end up chasing dead ends. Still you can organize and remove applications, and manage bookmarks and sort out the way search results are prioritized (again more fiddling).

You do spend an awful lot of time faffing about with Google TV, to the point where onlookers tend to say: “can we just watch TV instead”.

One of Steve Jobs’ more famous quotes (to Macworld in 2004) was: "You watch television to turn your brain off and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on."

At the time we thought of this as a mere snub to television, and that Steve Jobs – like many tech heads – considers television a poorer activity than computing. But it may well be true on another level, you watch television when you want to turn your brain off; when you want to do something not particularly mentally taxing for a while.

Here’s a TV that really makes you think… the payoff is that you may end up watching The Human Planet in high definition rather than Come Dine With Me, and that’s a noble aspiration that we can all get behind. But I’d wager that most of the time you’d rather just flick through the channels, put some background noise on and play with an iPad or laptop instead.

Maybe it’s not unreasonable of us to want both the functionality of the Google TV with the minimalist design ethos of Apple TV. It does sound like a big ask, but we often wonder how the world would be different if Google and Apple hadn’t fallen out; how they could have achieved more together than apart. It’s clear that Google gets the web, and web services, and search results, on a very powerful level – it’s also increasingly clear that left to its own devices it doesn’t really get consumer electronics.

One thing that’s also clear is that despite protestations from the cable television companies IPTV, with high quality on demand shows, is very much the future of television. And Google TV goes a long way towards making that a reality today. But we can’t help but feel that the television of the future will not come with a QWERTY keyboard and a trackpad.

Getting back to the here and now, the Logitech Revue with Google TV isn’t particularly cheap, coming in at $300, which will ensure a price point of around £250 when it arrives in the UK. In the US it’s already a good $200 more expensive than the Apple TV. Consider it lacks internal storage that seems rather a lot to ask just to watch Flash-based video on your TV.

And we’re not wholly convinced by the quality of the construction. While it looks passable, it doesn’t have the build quality of an Apple product and the built-in antenna didn’t seem as powerful as our Apple TV (it was unable to reach a 802.11n network perfectly acceptable to the Apple TV).

Still, it’s interesting and you can’t take that away from it. The Google TV is a big advance towards an internet connected future and if they rework some of the interface complexities, dumb it down a bit, and get the UK version to work with SKY and Freeview boxes and we could be in for a treat.


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