|ASUS CUBE Google TV Media Streamer|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Notebook | Compact PC|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 02 May 2013|
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ASUS CUBE Accessories
Google TV is designed to bring your home theater appliances together with online devices. To help this along, the ASUS CUBE 'buddy box' comes with an infrared IR Blaster accessory. This item plugs into the back of ASUS CUBE, while transmitter end has a double-sided adhesive backing to attach near other IR-controlled appliances. The idea is that your CUBE remote can also control the HDTV, audio/video receiver, or cable box.
The backbone to CUBE is its innovative universal remote control. CUBE's remote comes complete with keyboard, touch pad, microphone, and motion sensors. Two power buttons are available, one for IR Blaster-attached devices such as a TV or satellite/cable box, and the other for CUBE. The touchpad works in dual mode, as a directional keypad or touch-sensitive pad with tap to choose, and zoom in/out using pinch motions. Android-themed Back and Home keys are joined by Voice Search and Guide keys.
Various hotkeys extend picture-in-picture or Options features, while separate volume control and channel/scroll buttons further help the remote stand out against the competition. Voice Search and Cursor toggle buttons are located along the right side of the remote, however the location could make them an easy target for accidentally depressing while grabbing the remote.
Turning the remote over reveals a QWERTY keyboard, with alternate function Shift, Ctrl, and Fn keys that lend a second function to many keys. Similar to the front, Android-themed buttons are also available on the keyboard and allow users to choose to control devices from either side. Two AA alkaline batteries come included with the ASUS CUBE kit, with one installed at each end.
ASUS CUBE comes with a universal ADP-36EH AC adapter, identical to the ASUS Eee PC, which produces 12V 3A output. While ASUS specifies 10W power draw from CUBE, our testing used a Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter to measure true electricity consumption. In standby CUBE consumed 13W, later increasing to 18W during streaming movie playback.
The universal remote control transmits and infrared signal out of either end, and in testing did not require direct line of sight with CUBE. Commands were received with 360° vertical/horizontally rotation of the remote. IR range is very good, with positive transmission up to 20-feet away in bright daylight - or better in dark environments.
The ASUS 90YM00B1-M1UAL0 kit includes: CUBE with Google TV, AC adapter with plug cable, multifunction remote control, IR Blaster, Quick Start Guide, and CD-ROM user manual. While it would be ideal to include at least one HDMI cable, most users will already have one available with their HDTV.