CES 2013: How unu plans to take over the living room with Android

Sections: CES, Consoles, Consoles-Other, Conventions, Features

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A couple days ago. Sunflex announced unu, a multi-part Android device that aims to be the center of the smart living room. Unu’s features come from a tablet that’s connected to a HDTV from a dock. Once the unu’s interface is on the big screen, it essentially becomes an Android game console and a hub from which smart TV features flow. I checked out an early prototype of the unu at CES and learned a little more about what Sunflex plans to do with the final version of unu.

The tablet and user interface you see in the photo above is not the final version of unu. For demonstration purposes, Sunflex ran unu’s software off a generic Android tablet. That would explain why this tablet is black and the one shown off in unu’s promotional materials is completely white. I was told it’s Sunflex’s intention to make the unu’s outer casing out of brushed aluminum. In the end, unu probably won’t be white at all. I think that’s a good thing because tablets that feature an aluminum frame tend to look and feel like higher quality devices compared to tablets that are mostly plastic.

Speaking of higher quality, Sunflex is really trying to get higher-end specs on the unu tablet. The demo unit was running a dual-core processor, but the final version may include a quad-core processor. Just don’t expect it to ship with NVIDIA’s recently announced Tegra 4 processor. Due to Sunflex’s relationship with Chinese manufacturers, I’m told unu may very well ship with a Rockchip quad-core processor.

Sunflex won’t have a United States release window for unu until it hashes out certain business agreements, so the European community will have first dibs.

This is the prototype unu controller. As you can see, it resembles the Xbox 360 controller. One of the unique features of this controller is its ability to map virtual controls to its physical buttons. Sunflex made sure this controller would be compatible with other devices such as PCs. Unu will also have what Sunflex calls an air mouse which will work similarly to a Wii Remote. There’s also a full keyboard on the back of the air mouse. Of course, you can still control the UI with the controller if that’s what you prefer.

Unu is a jack of all trades. When used by itself, it’s a tablet. But when you introduce a television into the mix, you have an Android 4.2-powered media center. We’re starting to see a decent number of companies fighting over the living room using Android as a selling point. So far, there is no undisputed winner. Unu is entering this battle at the right time and has a chance to be among the top competitors.

Read [GamerTell @ CES 2013]

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