After fizzling out with its initial release, Google TV is expected to make a resurgence this year at CES thanks to updated software and the renewed support of TV manufacturers. Lenovo’s 55-inch, LED backlit, IdeaTV K91 does include a touch of Google on the software side, but it’s a customized version of Android 4.0 (a.k.a Ice Cream Sandwich) — not GTV. To pull that off, there’s essentially a smartphone’s worth of hardware inside, including a 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, an SD card slot, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 10M/100M Ethernet, HDMI, USB 2.0 connectivity, and a 5MP webcam positioned right below the bottom logo. The set appears to be no slouch in the picture quality department either, boasting a 3D full HD IPS panel with a 240Hz refresh rate.
Obviously the biggest question with all of this is how a mammoth 1080p TV will handle typical Android apps, optimized for the phone, or in some cases tablets. At least 100 preloaded apps will ship with the set, as well as a free video-on-demand service, voice control, and facial recognition software, which we’re guessing will make use of ICS’s face unlock feature to keep certain family members from running amok on Pay Per View.
More details a photos after the break.
Since Android is obviously optimized for touch input, the TV will ship with two peripherals. One looks like a typical wand remote, enhanced with a touchpad, 5-way d-pad, and a motion sensor. The other is a SNES-esque game pad, which reveals the TV is aiming to take full advantage of Android’s gaming potential. The TV is supposed to support up to four of these peripherals at one time, allowing the whole family to get it on the couch wars.
It’s strange seeing Lenovo of all brands hop into the TV game. It’s even stranger that they’re first offering appears to be one of the most advance HD displays we’ve ever seen. The biggest question is how well Lenovo has managed to graft a smartphone OS into a usable TV experience. Another piece of bad news for US readers is that this set is currently only scheduled to strut its stuff in China. When it will be available, what it’ll cost, and will it be available stateside are questions Lenovo isn’t answering now.
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