Google Nexus Q: $299 streaming media player

Google Nexus Q: $299 streaming media player

Summary: Google calls the Nexus Q "the first social streaming media player," but at $299 -- plus another $399 for the speakers and an insane $49 for a pair of cables -- I doubt it will take off.

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Google has unveiled a new home media server called Nexus Q at its developer conference in San Francisco.

Google calls the Nexus Q "the first social streaming media player," which essentially means that it functions as a cloud-connected jukebox.

The black, spherical orb can be used as an amp to power speakers, hooked up to an HDMI-ready TV, and is controllable from any Android device running Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" or higher.

According to Google the Nexus Q is a derivative of "Project Tungsten", the company's home automation division. The device measures 4.6-inches in diameter, and weighs a hefty two pounds. The device itself has only a single control -- a volume control feature activated by twisting the upper dome part of the device.

Internally, the Nexus Q runs Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" and sports an OMAP 4460 dual-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU with an SGX540 graphics core, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash memory storage.

The Nexus Q has a full complement of ports, including Micro HDMI, TOSLink optical audio, Ethernet, and speaker jack connectors, along with a single micro USB port that Google says is for "service and support only". It also features Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and near-field communications (NFC).

For visual effect the device features 32 RGB perimeter LEDs and a single RGB LED that acts as a mute indicator.

The Nexus Q supports apps such as Google Play Music, Google Play Movies and TV, and, of course, YouTube.

The New York Times reports that the Nexus Q was designed and manufactured in the U.S., including a number of the of the device's crucial semiconductor components.

Google is also offering accessories to go with the Nexus Q in the form of a pair of bookshelf speakers for an incredible $399, and two speaker cables for an eye-watering $49.

The Nexus Q is priced at $299 and will ship next month.

First impressions are that the Nexus Q is both weak compared to the Apple TV and terribly overpriced, in particular the accessories. While the Nexus 7 tablet has a shot at going mainstream, I have serious doubts that the Nexus Q will take off.

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Topics: Tablets, Android, Browser, Google, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Software Development

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25 comments
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  • Social?

    So how is it social? The article has no mention of any social features. Or was just Google unable to resist attaching a buzzword to the product name, so it won't appear as much a one in a dozen as it actually is?
    ff2
    • Muppet?

      Search engines are your friend. Use them.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7F5FO-MyR0o

      Look, having Apple stock doesn't mean you have to criticize the product without actually knowing anything about it skippy.
      yu119995
      • This is hardly any innovation

        Smart Glass is way better.
        Ram U
      • Speaking off Apple?

        I checked out the link and wow, what a letdown. I was expecting something more innovative with "social" not a copy of what Apple had already done with their "Remote" App on iOS years ago (2008). Friends with an iOS device and on the same network can all request songs to play in the DJ queue. Much the same way with this Q.

        btw: First device that lets you create social playlist with friends? Didn't the Zune did this years ago?
        dave95.
      • Missed some classes, skippy

        Oh boy, I wish you'd not have missed the class where your mates were taught the meaning of the question mark. Maybe it would time for you to catch up on that?
        ff2
      • Just because your a fanboy

        doesn't mean you have to get your panties in a wad when somebody askes a question.
        non-biased
    • I'm surprised they didn't name it

      The Nexus+ :)
      William Farrel
  • Expensive Toy

    Minimalist design, high-concept inter-connectivity, premium pricing...looks like something I'd expect from Bang & Olufsen.

    I agree with AKH that the "Q" may not go far in the mainstream. I do applaud Google for trying, though.
    Tech watcher
  • You've got to be joking

    "Google calls the Nexus Q ???the first social streaming media player,??? but at $299 ??? plus another $399 for the speakers and an insane $49 for a pair of cables ??? I doubt it will take off."

    This just in. You don't have to buy the speakers...BOOOOYAAAAAHHHHHH! Oh and it's manufactured in the US. Try saying that about any of Apple's hw. Of course you offer no praise for that fact whatsoever. Sadly, your Apple bias is as transparent as your responsible journalism.
    yu119995
    • Makes Sense now.

      Manufactured in the US? Now the price makes sense lol.
      Bates_
      • Yeah, Foxconn suicides FTW!!!

        Choosy Apple buyers prefer to pay 1/3 as much in cash along with a few dollar-a-day Chinese peasant worker deaths for each glossy gadget. Then they can use their $3k MacBook Pros to blog about social consciousness and pay up for those luxury hotels on Orbitz.
        SgtSpork
        • Damn your good

          Did you figure all that out on your own or did mommy help you again?
          non-biased
    • Get a grip!

      No need to go over the edge about all this. No you don't have to buy the speaker or cable but the point still stands that every aspect of it is pricey compared to the competition. It's great that they are made in the US, doesn't change anything that was said though now does it?
      non-biased
  • It could have a niche

    The coolest thing about it is the ability to play whatever movies, music, etc. purchased by any Android user in the room. I see it as being cool for Android lovers who also hang out together a lot. You don't have to bring your movie, just your phone.

    Not being an Android person, it's pretty useless to me but there are bound to be a few people who will go for it.
    kiz
    • AppleTV does this.. and 100 other things this doesn't...

      and it's $99.. this thing is just stupidly priced... it has an amp in it.. in that tiny box likely a cheap crappy amp and D/A coverter... still shouldn't triple the price with 1/3 the features as an AppleTV... these guys need to get their brains checked...

      And... it can't be used standalone.. you HAVE to have an android tablet or phone.. so add a phone or tablet to the price... AppleTv and Roku don't require this...
      theFunkDoctorSpoc
      • what other things does apple tv do? can you name a few since there are a million?

        thought so.
        Jimster480
  • DOA

    Unless they have something clever up their sleeve. Original programming? Dunno.
    SnoopDougEDoug
  • Wow they even copied the Q name from Ceton. Is there anything at google io

    this year that isnt copying somebody elses stuff? Copied amazons cloud, check, Copied oakleys glasses, check. Copied copied copied. Sad.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Oakley

      Even Oakley have said that Google Glasses are cool and they are developing their own version.

      Now I presume to copy you have to have something to copy in the first place, how can Google copy Oakley is Oakley still developing their own version and have not shown anything off in public.
      Knowles2
  • Hmm

    I think the Vizio TV would be a better option... I would be all over this if it were priced closer to Apple TV and had a Closed Captioning.
    slickjim