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Is the Google Nexus Q Subtraction by Subtraction?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the 33-LEDs-for-maximum-multimedia-masonic-mystery dept.

Google 128

Once upon a time, it was easy to characterize Google’s domain and business model: they provided well-organized internet search results through a simple, friendly interface, and made money through targeted advertising. Over the years, the company has grown more complex even faster than has the — still admirably spare — Google home page, as it’s either assimilated or originated all kinds of adjuncts to pure search. The Nexus Q, as the company’s first-ever fully home-grown consumer electronics product (as opposed to Google-branded but jointly developed phones and tablets) shows just how far that path has led, and hints at cooler things to come. By default, though, the device is severely limited, intended basically as an overqualified gateway to content stored at Google’s Play media store, or at (Google-controlled) YouTube. And if that weren’t constrained enough, it requires another Android device (phone or tablet, say) as a remote control. The Q is equipped with impressive hardware internally, though, which might soon be exploited with software more flexible than that which comes loaded.The Q was announced at the recent Google I/O conference, and instantly drew both admiring gasps and dismissive chortling. The case is distinctively odd: it looks a bit like a Death Star the size of a Magic 8 Ball, with an equator lit by a string of 32 LEDs, with a bit sliced off to provide a base. You can link it to an HDMI-equipped screen with a longer cable, if you’d like, but you won’t be stacking anything on top. It combines a fast processor, a 1GB chunk of RAM, and 16GB of solid-state storage with an integrated power supply (which means no wall wart) and — probably the most interesting of its hardware features — a built-in stereo amplifier, described as 12.5 watts per channel, or (a bit coyly) as “25W.”

Aside: Since stereo amps are commonly described by their per-channel rating (so a “100 watt stereo amp” doesn’t typically mean 50 watts per *channel* but rather “100 watts per channel), I’m glad the specs at least call this out in the same size of typeface. They should also specify the total harmonic distortion when driven at their rated power; that’s one place that other class D amps especially tend toward misleading figures. (I’ve asked Google to supply this information.) On the other hand, it’s worth mentioning that a decent 12.5W/channel isn’t necessarily something to sneeze at. Just because some receivers have 7 or more channels and behemoth claimed power ratings, with efficient speakers just a few watts can fill any less-than-cavernous room with decent sound, especially if it won’t be pushing giant bass drivers. Google recommends bookshelf speakers as a good match, which makes sense both because they tend toward efficiency and small-to-medium rooms and because users with more complex systems probably don’t want to be tied to the internal amplifier anyhow.

With a dual-core Cortex A9 and a full gig of RAM, this is severalfold more capable than a mere gadget needs to be — or, rather, it *could* be more capable. Which brings me to this: biggest problem I see with the Q isn’t the price, even though a lower price would no doubt bring it closer to an impulse buy for more people.

No, The real drawback to an eccentrically shaped, limited purpose, $300 piece of home entertainment gear is that it’s got to overcome a raft of competitive alternatives as well as wallet friction. This is the electronics version of “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The total worth of owning it has to compensate (and then some) for not using the same money on other stuff — or simply saving it, and particularly for the risk that for all its potential the Q will end up orphaned. (See also, Chumby.)

By restricting the feature set to Google’s own media store, Google is placing a bet that users (enough of them, at least) will be satisfied with that as their sole source, and guaranteeing a revenue stream. They’ve also bet at least some small piece of the farm that users will appreciate what strikes me as a hyper-specific music-sharing scenario. As demonstrated on the I/O stage, multiple users with Android devices as controllers can each add items to the device’s playlist, and take advantage of predictive search to find more items that might appeal. This “social streaming” is nifty, but requires a fiddly involvement in the “play music over speakers” process than typical users might find tiresome and twee, and it limits the in group with control of the device to Android users. That cuts out the huge chunk of smartphone users with some version of That Other Phone. It’s hard to know to predict sometimes what will become popular enough to spawn massive sales (cf Pet Rocks, hula hoops, and Scientology), but based on that demo this seems like a feature likely to be disproportionately enjoyed by Silicon-Valley style tech-heads rather than typical (“mere”) users.

It looks flexible with that collection of parts and ports, though, and Google’s explicitly announced that hacking is encouraged, which sounds impressive and provides hope that the 16GB of storage will have a use more interesting than as a giant cache. It’s easy to come up with cool scenarios for a tiny computer-with-amplifier, from zone controller for a flexible home audio system to the brains of a lightweight browsing station (perhaps with a purpose-built version of Cyanogen Mod?) or a home-control infobot like 3com's short-lived Audrey. A security system or weather app (think of a display for weather sensors mounted outside the house, coupled with a crowdsourced alert system for severe weather, and grabbing data from Weather Underground, too) would make it more appealing to me. The multicolor LED band could serve the same function that Ambient Devices pushed for its connected gadgets that used color and other indicators to convey information based on data streams from stock tickers to holiday calendars. Liliputing reports on some partial success in loading Android apps, but heavy on the partial: getting a game to appear on screen isn’t the same as being able to play it.

Why so difficult? Besides the lack of a touch-screen input, the version of Android 4.0 on the Q isn’t the does-everything Ice Cream Sandwich that many users are used to. The Nexus series of phones and tablets has first-class access to a collection of hundreds of thousands of apps; for the Q, exactly three apps are listed in the specs: Google Play Music; Google Play Movies and TV; and YouTube.

Until a greater selection of apps appears (whether from outside developers or from Google), the Q’s software is pared down to a degree likely to frustrate users who are used to playing all kinds of media from other devices — including smartphones that aren’t even as musically gifted on the hardware side.

In some ways, and especially with the intentionally sparse software set, Google will be competing with itself with this device, especially for users who’d rather employ separate sound amplification: the current generation of Chromebook plays streaming video just fine (and has a screen and a keyboard), and does a lot more besides. If you want to hook up to a larger screen permanently and thus don’t need a smaller one at all, the Samsung-made Chromebox costs only about 10 percent more, and seems a more flexible choice, since besides being a full-featured web-centric smart client, the Chromebox outputs video via a (full sized, no less!) HDMI port, and will play content from providers other than Google’s Play, like Netflix and Vimeo — and that’s just for video sources — as well as from locally stored media. Similarly, Google TV hardware fills much of the same niche, and it comes with a browser.

Also in competition, of course, are dedicated network media players from Boxee, Roku, and Apple, and (at prices that start a touch lower, thanks to the subsidize-then-sell-games business model) consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox 360. All of these offer a mature interface for streaming music and movies that might be less state of the art and exotic than the Q’s, but more accessible and more flexible.

I do have an Android phone, and have been considering a Roku box; now, I’m planning to set up the Q with a set of bookshelf speakers to see how livable (or frustrating) it turns out to be. I hope that the touted hackability means that its capabilities really do get a boost soon from tinkerers: for this Death Star, that may be the only hope.

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128 comments

Am I missing the point (5, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40518999)

It is similar to the crappy little $75 Android on a sticks all over the sites like Alibaba with the following differences:

1. Built in power supply and audio amp. Audio out on TOS-Link along with the amp and over HDMI.

2. Dual core CPU. And only some of the cheapos come with 1GB of ram, most only give 512.

3. Cool housing with lots of LEDs. Because what nerd can resist a crapload of leds, amiright?

4. Less able to actually run android apps.

5. No MicroSD on the Q. Seems to be a trend, note that their new tablet also lacks expansion ability. Tethered media consumption device.

6. The Q gets Bluetooth, the cheapos don't.

7. 10/100 Ethernet on the Q.

8. About four times as expensive.

Things that they have in common:

1. No clearly defined reason to buy one.

Re:Am I missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519193)

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame?

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40519303)

I get the meme, it is a classis around here. This is different. There was a market for music players, the debate over the iPod was whether that product had what it took to dominate that new market.

The problem here is these are products looking for a market. We have seen this a lot, somebody puts some kewl tech together and markets on the sole basis that it is a kewl gadget that people will do unspecified kewl things with. The surplus markets are saturated with the remainders.

To sell something you have to have a solution to a problem, even if it was a problem people didn't realize they had before the product appeared.

Re:Am I missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519563)

I think you're both right.. and both ...not wrong, but looking at this as if it was more than what it is.

It's yet another Google beta product.

What's being beta tested here is what really is up for debate..

Tech "Made in the USA"? Some new direction for GoogleTV/Cord-cuting devices? What features listed in a post above users will actually use?

The measure of success or failure of this device will depend greatly on what Google's true intent for it is. I don't think we know that yet.

Re:Am I missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40522503)

Or you do like Apple did and steal a competitors ideas and pass it off as your own. When the inevitable court case goes against you count on the blindness of fanbois to keep momentum going.

If you throw a huge amount of advertising money behind a rip off product at a point in time when nobody else is bothering to advertise, of course it's going to be big. And if you also provide a monopoly music store that won't work with competing products all the better. The really interesting question is whether or not Apple could have pulled it off had the DoJ been enforcing antitrust regulations at the time.

Re:Am I missing the point (-1, Troll)

GeekInComa (2675279) | about 2 years ago | (#40519249)

It is now essentially impossible for me to use any Google products and services. The interfaces have gone down the drain and are practically messed up.

For example, compare Bing Maps to Google Maps. The first one is clean, stylish and fast while the Google Maps is sluggish and looks stupid. Only area Google is better at is the street view. But that is of course result of their privacy violations.

Last night, during visiting me and sharing a few words by the bed, even my dad agreed in his last words before dying. I can remember forever how it went - with his last words he uttered "Sell Google. Sell Google now".

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#40519869)

How is Bing Maps better than Google Maps? They look almost identical, except that Bing has lower information density (meaning I have to scroll more to see all my directions, which is annoying).

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519543)

Now compare a real HTPC -- it's basically the exact same list of differences, with the glaring exception that HTPCs can (and usually do) have some serious internal storage, whereas this requires a NAS. And of course, the HTPC has full HTPC software, this has (for now) a rather limited subset.

Basically, IMO, this + some decent software (which, with thousands of devices in the hands of developers, seems likely) and the usual peripherals (bluetooth remote, keyboard, etc.) could be every bit as solid a HTPC setup as your garden-variety x86 setup, with that one provisio of having a NAS already (or USB storage, but that's ugly) -- whereas the cheap android sticks will kind of do it, but you'll be forever chafing against seriously compromised functionality.

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

slinches (1540051) | about 2 years ago | (#40519703)

Yes, but I think almost everyone is. I don't think this was a product that google developed for a target market and isn't a big part of their overall hardware strategy. What I think it is, is a solution to arguments between googlers about which radio station gets played in the office. A couple of guys got fed up with the bickering and designed the Q. They're just selling them so that they can recoup the development costs and get a few more for themselves. Also, as an added benefit they were able to experiment with making hardware locally.

Yes, you are missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40520159)

The point is that the Android Laff Factory continues to produce at an amazing pace.

I think you are (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#40520163)

We have got used to thinking that anything that doesn't sell in tens of millions is a failure. But this is far from the truth. A niche product that is profitable is better than a volume product that sells at a loss (ask Nokia or RIM). This thing has a world power supply built in. There are probably over half a billion households around the world that could afford, and use one. If only 1% were to buy one, that's still a pretty successful product in audio terms.

When it comes to end-user products (I hate the word "consumer" which is just borrowed economics jargon trying to sound as if it means something) there is usually no clearly defined reason to buy A rather than B for most people. 16Gbytes on a Nexus tablet? I've used up barely a third of my 16Gbyte Playbook, and a fifth of the 16Gbytes on my phone. Not everybody wants to store movies on a tablet. 12.5W per channel? "Audiophiles" are a small minority. Many people have TV sets with far less audio output, and for them 25W total is a very significant improvement. So they have to buy a couple of speakers...the truth is most people do not want to pay $9000 for an amplifier every copper atom of which has been individually hand assembled by a time-served audio technician.

It looks as if the object here is to test drive a new class of appliance. It can't be compared to a $75 Android box. New services can be built on its architecture; NAS boxes can be made to work with it. HDMI monitors will plug into it. The design language is a world away from a well known fruit-centric product range. For a number of families in the world who don't happen to have six-figure incomes in dollars or euros, this plus a monitor plus a phone will plug into the ADSL router and away they go.

One of the besetting sins of many Slashdot posters is that they aren't US-centric: they are "My social class, age and income group in my profession in the US"-centric. That's because we don't work in marketing. Talk to anyone who has worked seriously in consumer product marketing and it's another world.

Re:Am I missing the point (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40520455)

I know for sure that I'm missing the point.

I can understand a discussion of the pros and cons of this new device, and what it's uses might be and whether it's overpriced. What I cannot understand is why I should care whether or not this device is a success for Google, which seems to be the main focus of this and many many other Slashdot articles about handheld tech.

I suppose if I worked for Google or one of its competitors, I might care whether or not a new product is going to be a hit or not, but I just can't wrap my head around why anyone else gets so emotionally invested in which browser is #1 or which tablet is #1. Needless to say, I do not have any logo tattoos, but I guess I'm in the minority. Brand names are the new tribal identifiers. This wouldn't be so bad, except that so many people are identifying more with marketing campaigns than with their own communities or families. Seriously, I know I'm not the only one of us who has overheard, "My brother uses an Android and he's all like, stupid, because everyone knows that the iPhone is so much better. It's like I can't relate to him at all."

I remember decades and decades ago, when there were similar fights over, I don't know, Chevy vs Ford. But most of those people grew out of that and have transferred their animosity to black people or hispanics or something. But even then, it wasn't so much that the identification was with General Motors as it was with an Impala SS or a Camaro. And still, even those gearheads could have concurrent allegiances to the Milwaukee Braves or the Packers. There was an understanding that it was all "us vs them". The difference today is we have people who make a corporate image their image. They live and die according to the fortunes of Apple, for example. They really see themselves as the people in the commercials. They have the logo tattooed over their heart. Not "mom", but "Think Different" (as if any corporation would really want any consumer to "Think Different).

For chrissake, it cannot be healthy to tie your identity to a consumer product, much less a corporation. It's not healthy for you, and it's not healthy for society.

Re:Am I missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40521233)

what a truly pointless post. unfortunately, that makes this post pointless by association. but maybe that's what you were after, ratface.

Re:Am I missing the point (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40521349)

What I cannot understand is why I should care whether or not this device is a success for Google

We care if it will be a successful product because it's a bit inexplicable otherwise... who the fuck made them think that making it shaped like that is a good idea?

Re:Am I missing the point (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40522019)

who the fuck made them think that making it shaped like that is a good idea?

You have something against spheres?

Maybe they're worried that if they make it squarish or rectangular Apple will sue them and they'll never be able to bring it to market.

Actually, I have a patent on electronic devices that are three-dimensional, so Google will be hearing from my lawyers.

Re:Am I missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40522039)

Have a look at the new things at Google I/O: The Nexus 7 was a proper product launch, immediately available to pre-order in a number of countries and will be on sale worldwide; Google Glass was a tech demo and a developer launch of a future product; and then there is the Nexus Q, seemingly overpriced, but made in the USA, but also only available in the USA, they aren't betting big on it. The Nexus Q is clearly some kind of experiment by Google, who knows what they hope to achieve with it and I doubt they'll tell us in the near future, but it is quite possible Google aren't really quite sure about where it is going, hence the "open to developers" bit.

So, it is a mildly interesting but slightly odd experiment by Google, Google has loads of experimental projects, it is just that this one is hardware-based rather than software or a new service.

Re:Am I missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40521389)

A perfectly executed troll! Starts off reasonable, decrying the increasing personal identification with particular brands.

Concludes by bitching about how "people like Apple products," as if - for the bulk of apple product owners - it's even remotely the same thing.

All brought to us by a guy who makes a Slashdot career out of "anything Apple is stupid because sheeple!" identity.

The irony is so thick I might need a shovel. Thanks for showing us how to Think Different, Ratzo. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't realize that joining the "Apple SUX! LOL!" brigade is the only true way to express your individualism and free-thinking outlook.

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40521795)

no...no....

sometimes you can identify with philosophies. for example, the android is more open than the apple iOS. But to others, Apple is the pinnacle of perfection. There is also branding...

One other thing. I don't get why you took the time to write so much about a subject you claim no one should care about...

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40521983)

One other thing. I don't get why you took the time to write so much about a subject you claim no one should care about...

I'm part of a long tradition of literary essayists tackling difficult subjects.

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#40523375)

"MY phone operating system has a larger userbase than your phone operating system, therefore my penis is bigger!!!!"

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

Clsid (564627) | about 2 years ago | (#40524029)

So "people" have transferred their animosity to black people or hispanics. Do you live in a redneck community or what? As a hispanic I take offense on that kind of remark, to the point where it really brings down your whole argument about family values being lost. Thank god I live in a very tolerant society, where it doesn't matter if you are an italian, an arab or any other immigrant to be treated with respect and human dignity. After all, we all are immigrants in one way or another on this side of the planet.

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40522279)

1. No clearly defined reason to buy one.

The cheap ones are a nice way to add a network media player to a TV.

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40522451)

> The cheap ones are a nice way to add a network media player to a TV.

Except they aren't. One USB port, no network port and no BT. So no access to mass media AND an input device without a hub and there goes the entire justification of it being so small and after you get done cheap is probably done for as well.

Spend a little more. There are some very interesting Android 4.0 based media player dedicated units for under a hundred. They are designed as a STB, come with a remote control, etc. One I saw even had a slot on top to stick in a 2.5" SATA drive in a little plastic housing. Thing stuck up like an old Nintendo or Atart cart. I hear they sell drives on the streets in China preloaded with bootleg media which makes it a real win if you happen to live there I guess.

Re:Am I missing the point (1)

tknd (979052) | about 2 years ago | (#40522783)

For specs it looks like a decent device. For price and features, it is certainly a hard sell with the only compatible devices/media being Google content and specifically movies and music.

It seems like a premature launch. As a developer I don't care much for hackability. Random Joes aren't going to randomly go out and buy this thing for its hackability.

What they should have done is at least provide a developer API. If pandora, netflix, and the rest had access to this thing, I'm sure it would be much more palatable as a viable product.

Also if it had a real "on screen" UI, that would be great too...but I guess they really want you to buy a Nexus 7 first.

Canada here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519043)

Nexus Q

Unfortunately this device is not for sale in your country.

So what do we care? It's like an Amazon Fire..

Re:Canada here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40520927)

So what do we care? It's like an Amazon Fire..

That's the Nexus 7, not the Nexus Q. Read much?

(Also, the 7 has quite a lot less suck than the Fire -- not only having newer/shinier/better hardware, getting modern OS releases first on account of being a Nexus device, and being a full member of the Android ecosystem without needing to jailbreak/root is rather a Big Deal).

So much for the model of .. (1, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40519047)

One device to rule them all.

I get mocked when I show up with my magical Backpack o' Holding (it weighs 2 lbs, add 5 lbs of stuff and it magically weighs 15 lbs all together) with a camera, a phone, a GPSr, a dozen charged and ready NiMH cells, and get the old "Ho ho ho, still lugging around a lot of individual dedicated devices, rather than an all-in-one whizzy iDoodad"

Well, with this Google is going back in my direction so the clod is on the other hopper now!

Re:So much for the model of .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519127)

I don't understand how a Nexus Q is going to replace all of those (or even any) devices that you listed. ?

Re:So much for the model of .. (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40519177)

I don't understand how a Nexus Q is going to replace all of those (or even any) devices that you listed. ?

Don't you see? It adds to them!

... it requires another Android device (phone or tablet, say) as a remote control.

I could through my head back and cackle with insane glee. As a matter of fact, I think I will! >=)

Re:So much for the model of .. (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 2 years ago | (#40519485)

Over the past few years we really have seen the collapse of "convergence." Instead of one thing that does everything, companies have been more apt to sell us a Katamari Damacy-esque ball of appliances that talk to each other over protocols, collaborating with dumb devices, providing redundant services to smart ones, cacheing, mirroring, and smarting-up things that everyone thought would be wholly replaced.

One the one hand, no one company or consortium was ever able to get in a position where they could make a play to replace so many things at once with one thing. In the other, miniaturization hasn't lead to a world with few, small, expensive, super-powerful devices that do everything, but to many, tiny, cheap, marginally smart devices, tailored to specific ends.

Re:So much for the model of .. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40519553)

Over the past few years we really have seen the collapse of "convergence." Instead of one thing that does everything, companies have been more apt to sell us a Katamari Damacy-esque ball of appliances that talk to each other over protocols, collaborating with dumb devices, providing redundant services to smart ones, cacheing, mirroring, and smarting-up things that everyone thought would be wholly replaced.

One the one hand, no one company or consortium was ever able to get in a position where they could make a play to replace so many things at once with one thing. In the other, miniaturization hasn't lead to a world with few, small, expensive, super-powerful devices that do everything, but to many, tiny, cheap, marginally smart devices, tailored to specific ends.

I actually prefer establishing the level of competency of each device I carry - GPSr has to be near best in class (of consumer oriented), phone can be dumb as a rock, I only make calls (sometimes even take calls) and camera has to suit what I'm shooting - if I require so-so, I take the Olympus FE-47, if they have to be great or require telephote, I take the DSLR. If I wanted best in class of everything, well, the prices would be astounding.

just a sec, I just read the news on my Canon 7D mk II and need to make a phone call on it.

Re:So much for the model of .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519619)

If only the trinket manufacturers would learn that they need to partner with Lego...

Just imagine, nearly-universal brick-ports.
Your iToy dosn't have built-in wifi? Just make sure it has a 2-block port and stick the wifi plug in there (which chains support for other two-block devices).
Want to hook a real camera up to your phone? 4-block square port and take high quality photos.
No built in GPS? There's a 2-block device for that.

It would take all the functionality of USB and the fun of Legos, and combine them into a superior trinket intigration system!

(I hereby claim the term 'TEGO' for these ports, as a merger of trinket and Lego, but I will release the concept into public domain for someone else to get rich with)

Re:So much for the model of .. (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40522529)

I'm not at all surprised by that. Camera phones are better than they were when I got my Razr v3, but they're still not at all competitive with a handheld unit. GPS in a phone does seem to work fine, but the battery life usually sucks and the antenna isn't necessarily as good.

You end up paying a huge amount of money in most cases for an inferior product when you demand that it be integrated into a multifunctional unit. What's more, if the GPS or camera conks out, you have to either replace the entire unit or buy a second unit for that function.

The whole idea of convergence was always a bad idea, often times something built in is good enough, but we're still a very long way off from the point where it really makes sense. And I'm not sure that a camera built into a phone will ever really compete with a standalone.

Almost useless niche product (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519063)

People who care about their audio setup have a dedicated 5.1/7.1 system in place already. Those who don't care can buy a cheaper alternative. Personally I have no intention to give the Google creeps a single cent, although I admit that it looks cool and polished.

--

Sundar Pichai is the utter asshole whose incompetence resulted in the shutdown of Google's Atlanta office. We don't forget!

Re:Almost useless niche product (0)

boysenberry (2029114) | about 2 years ago | (#40519599)

All those who think this is a crappy product, tell me what your hifi setup is? If you're a self-respecting nerd, you've got a home NAS of some kind where you have your gigs and gigs of music, on the network. And you certainly do not listen to music off your crappy computer speakers, nor do you use one of those crummy 2 dollar speaker-docking stations. You've got a proper hifi, right? If so, I don't get what you all have been using all these years that is such a great solution? Squeezebox and Sonos are very good, but with very limited customizability and other limitations. For example squeezebox doesnt do upnp and really expects you to use their slimserver to manage your music. That's all fine until you want to use some other devices as well. Then there's XBMC, which is a great HTPC but really cant be run headless, and the android remotes I've tried all suck. And frankly everything else out there is either not available in my area or has some severe crippling flaw. I want a device that: is 300, has digital out, does UPNP or CIFS/NFS, is customizable, can be easily controlled from a PC or smartphone, and allows me to easily sync my playlists preferably via non-proprietary standard formats. Bonus points for hdmi and supporting external music services. I realize the Q doesnt do all this out of the box (as far as I know), but given that it seems its going to be quite hackable, I'm optimistic it will. In short, for me the Nexus Q is what I've been waiting for for YEARS.

Re:Almost useless niche product (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519749)

Accidentally modded this nonsense up...

Re:Almost useless niche product (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519817)

If you're a self-respecting nerd, you've got a home NAS of some kind where you have your gigs and gigs of music, on the network

Why would nerds listen to music? It serves no rational purpose.

Re:Almost useless niche product (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 2 years ago | (#40523961)

Mac Mini running iTunes loaded with music from the NAS and HDMI out to the HiFi. Can be controlled via the TV and Trackpad+Keyboard or by phone (running the iTunes remote app so iPhone, Android or WP) or iPad or remote desktop from laptop. Also runs AirServer so music (or video) can be streamed directly from my phone.

The Nexus Q requires an Android phone for control and it also cannot stream from any device (NAS, phone, etc...).

The Q is DOA (3, Insightful)

geek (5680) | about 2 years ago | (#40519081)

Sorry but the Q is DOA. It's crippled and horribly over priced. Google didn't think this one out. Yes being made in the USA is cool and all but that doesn't justify three times the price over something like the Roku. It doesn't even come with a remote, you have to supply one yourself! The people that are running this need to be fired. It's possibly the worst product release I have ever seen. If I was Sergey Brin I'd be embarrassed this thing was released with my companies name on it.

Re:The Q is DOA (2, Interesting)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40519221)

It doesn't even come with a remote, you have to supply one yourself!

This is a feature, not a bug. I have too damn many remotes as is. I've taken to using my Android phone as a remote for my XBMC boxes [openelec.tv] and a couple of TVs.

The only feature I see missing on this is playing local networked media. DLNA [dlna.org] compatibility would do it.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

krakelohm (830589) | about 2 years ago | (#40519369)

This is a feature if it is not your only option. Do like the Apple TV does, include a remote and give you the option to use your phone/tablet.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40519547)

Not in this case. Google is also trying to showcase near-field communications (NFC). They are targeting a very specific market and trying to push things forward in a specific direction. If you want a remote, you're not part of the target demographic.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40519933)

That's nice and all, but what you're saying effectively makes the Q a mere Android accessory. An accessory that costs more than most Android devices. That's poor design, regardless of whether you're trying to push a technology or not. The proper way to push the technology you're talking about would be to provide a remote, then, once they've hooked people on the product, come out with a second version that has killer_feature_x but requires you to provide the remote.

Being able to control it from Android is a feature. If you like it, you can throw out the remote. The remote, however, should be considered a necessity for the time being. As it is, they've killed the device even before it launched since they've priced it at a "premium" price that's three times higher than the competition and aimed it at a demographic that is not known for spending money on premium items.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40520033)

In order for it to work properly you not only need an Android phone, but one that is NFC-capable. That basically means a newer Nexus phone.

The demographic that has that *IS* well known for spending money on premium items.

I don't think Google sees this in the same market as Roku. I think they're thinking more along the lines of the original Apple TV. "Let's see what we can do and where we want to go in this space." They're experimenting on the cutting edge right now.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40520955)

In order for it to work properly you not only need an Android phone, but one that is NFC-capable. That basically means a newer Nexus phone.

The demographic that has that *IS* well known for spending money on premium items.

So, rather than targeting the entire Android community of hundreds of millions of potential customers (or, more ideally, targeting everyone by simply including a $5 remote), they're targeting the small subset of that population that actually is interested in premium items. Awesome. They've reduced the list of potential customers by a few hundred million people. And that is supposed to help them succeed how?

The original Apple TV did feel like it kinda just got pushed out the door to see what would happen, but it still felt like it made sense and was an okay value for the time. This thing makes no sense, is usable by an extremely small portion of the overall population, and is priced rather high.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40521585)

This is just speculation on my part, but I think they aren't defining "success" the way you are. You're implying "sell a lot of Nexus Qs" == success. I don't see Google doing that.

I think they're trying to build a stable of NFC showcase gadgets. Large sales numbers are not even on their radar with this. By making it open and hackable, they're seeing what the community comes up with.

They're pushing the "big picture" of "this is what NFC can do". Q is one. Google Wallet is another.

It'll be interesting to see what the community comes up with.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40521627)

I can agree with that as an idea. I still think it's a poor way to do it, however, since I think they would be better served by putting out a product that is compelling to more users, then enhancing it through the use of NFC, rather than making its use exclusive to those with access to NFC. There's no technological reason why this device needs to be NFC-only, so artificially limiting it seems like a poor decision, even if it is meant as a showcase.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40521727)

Yeah, possibly. Considering it is open, hackable and just generally an Android-based computer, I can see this being fixed PDQ.

I'm tempted to buy one but have too many other projects going already to fiddle with it now. For me, I'd need to see DLNA streaming or at least the ability to stream from local network sources.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#40521189)

Not in this case. Google is also trying to showcase near-field communications (NFC). They are targeting a very specific market and trying to push things forward in a specific direction. If you want a remote, you're not part of the target demographic.

It's obvious what Google's doing, but they're doing it in a way that's a step backwards from existing technology! You're supposed to walk over to this device and tap your phone on it - why the heck should you have to do that? And, more importantly - why do they think anyone would *want* to do that? If this has any effect on the adoption of NFC, it'll probably be to set its adoption back somewhat.

Existing traditional remotes let you walk directly to your couch or chair and start interacting with your TV or stereo. Remote apps, such as the iPhone apps I have for my Tivo, Apple TV, and LG television, also let me go directly to my chair and access my devices without having to take pointless extra steps - they pair either over wi-fi or via bluetooth. Walking over to the Q may only be a minor annoyance; but it's a pointless one that doesn't provide any unique benefit to the consumer.

Re:The Q is DOA (3, Interesting)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40521639)

Uh, no.

As far as I can tell -- and this is speculation as I don't yet have one -- the tapping on the device is how you associate with it. You're "checking in", so to speak.

Then, as long as you're on the same network segment as the device, you have whatever privileges the owner set it up with. Actual control is by standard wander-to-the-bar-or-chair remote app.

Once you leave the local network, you disassociate. There is probably a timeout as well. "Party is over at 11:00. Cut off all guest access."

I can easily see "master" devices such as the owner's phone being set up to not have to do this.

Done right, I can see the local network settings -- SSID, WPA-2 passphrase, etc. -- being transferred by the tap. The guest's phone now joins your network and control of the Q is done via IP thru the net. It also gives them access to THEIR Play account as a source.

There are a whole raft of possibilities with this.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#40524047)

As far as I can tell -- and this is speculation as I don't yet have one -- the tapping on the device is how you associate with it. You're "checking in", so to speak.

Yeah, obviously. Again - why should you have to tap it to check in? Requiring NFC for that is a solution in search of a problem to solve.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40519479)

With all the problems Q is probably going to have this isn't one of them. I think getting rid of extra controls and having tablets and phones directly control the TV is the next logical step and as the post above notes we're already using android/i devices to control XBMC, cable set top boxes, and who knows what else... why not go the whole way and make them how you buy the content, too.

I have to wait to see if this works in practice, but it does seem a logical step.

Re:The Q is DOA (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 2 years ago | (#40519511)

The solution to "too many remotes" is neither "buy a $300 remote," nor "iPhone and dumbphone owners need not apply."

Re:The Q is DOA (4, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 2 years ago | (#40519315)

"Crippled"? Did you miss the part where hacking around with it is encouraged? What's "crippled" to me is a closed-box system in which not only is it hard to hack around, but it's explicitly illegal--i.e. devices like the Roku, AppleTV, etc.

I think that this is going to be Google's way of saying, "Okay, here's the device and what it can do, now you all go figure out cool ways to use it." If so, not only is the Q not DOA, it actually has the potential to be much more functional than almost any consumer-level device that's currently out there.

Time, as they say, will tell.

Re:The Q is DOA (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#40519661)

"Okay, here's the device and what it can do, now you all go figure out cool ways to use it."

Dear Google,

Put an engineer on getting a working mythtv / xbmc on linux distro going for the Q. Should take about a month. It doesn't have to be great - the drivers just have to be connected up properly. The community will figure out the spit and polish.

You'll recoup the investment the day after availability is announced.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

Junta (36770) | about 2 years ago | (#40519905)

The challenge being that for $299 you can get a comparably powerful x86 system, which is a lot more familiar and people are very comfortable with how open it is with an established market that is pretty solid.

The problem with this is that without Google pulling off a miracle making this some hot ticket item, the 'hobbyist' community isn't going to have access to this device in a worthwhile way. Will a generic Linux run on it with Xorg, will XBMC be able to offload video decode to support high def video? If all that pans out, you *still* are limiting your possibilities compared to the $300 PC given the inabliity to use windows or wine for some stuff you may really want to do.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | about 2 years ago | (#40521871)

We'll see what happens, but frankly, they needed to work on their other projects first. If the Q was a Google TV box, it would look a lot more attractive than what the Q currently is, and at $299, it's pretty much DOA, especially with $99 Google TV boxes out there that can do the same thing plus a lot more than the Q.

It's the same thing at the Chromebooks. I messed with a Samsung Chromebook 550 recently, and its an impressive OS with it's instant boot time and build quality, but in the end It's a $550 Web browser.

Re:The Q is DOA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40522543)

i agree. it has 16GB of memory. it streams 1080P. not hard to add local media streaming and all. they already are PLAYING games on it using the tablet or nexus as controller. accept that with jobs passing, apple has gone the way of the dodo. long live open source

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

Junta (36770) | about 2 years ago | (#40519857)

Yes being made in the USA is cool and all but that doesn't justify three times the price over something like the Roku

While I share the head scratching over the market chances of the Q, I think this statement could be taken the wrong way. It's hard to say the extent that 'made in the USA' is a price liability when, spec-wise, the Q has far more expensive features than a Roku. Roku-like devices make use of much lower-end SoCs, lower ram, and don't bother including things like an amp. For Google's marketed purposes, a Roku device largely sufficies (except for the amp bit, but that making a difference seems to be wishful thinking on Google's part) and thus the Q is likely going to be DOA. The price delta is due at *least* in large part due to design choices other than 'made in the USA'.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 2 years ago | (#40522585)

It's crippled and horribly over priced. Google didn't think this one out. Yes being made in the USA is cool and all but that doesn't justify three times the price over something like the Roku.

If it's priced anything like the Nexus 7 then it will be a complete non-starter for anyone in Australia. Apple are known for region-specific markups, for example the original iPad $499 vs $629 (a 21% markup) and the new iPad is much better at $499 vs $549 (only a 10% markup) but the Nexus 7 is $199 in the US and $299 in AU, that's a 50% markup! If that trend extends to the Nexus Q it makes an already overpriced device and exorbitantly overpriced device! You're 3/4 of the way to a Mac Mini or even closer to a Dell Zinio!
Already the Nexus Q is priced very similar to the Samsung Chromebox, load an intel build of Android onto one of those and you're probably better off.

Re:The Q is DOA (1)

Trongy (64652) | about 2 years ago | (#40524069)

The 8GB Nexus 7 is $199 USD in the US and $249 AUD in Australia. The 16 GB model is $50 more in each currency. The Australian price probably includes 10 % GST whereas the US price probably doesn't include sales tax. Assuming a 1:1 exchange rate (which I would be given the current trend) the markup is only 14%. That's not bad given the higher costs of operating a business in Australia.

Has double-sided touch-screen remote? (1)

Maow (620678) | about 2 years ago | (#40519085)

I thought it came with a double-sided remote control: touch screen on one side and keyboard on the other (I hope it rejects key presses when upside down)?

The biggest feature of this thing is Made In USA as far as I'm concerned. I'd like that to be the beginning of a trend to bring manufacturing back to N America.

The pricetag IS the selling point. (1)

Haxagon (2454432) | about 2 years ago | (#40519093)

They're trying to position the Nexus Q as a high-end device, the 'cool, expensive thing' at the party.
It's the same business model Apple and Sony have had for years. Taking cheap product and making it seem high-end does make it high end-- at least to the average consumer.
I'd wager that they're also trying to make up some of the margins they slashed on the Kal-El Nexus 7.

Re:The pricetag IS the selling point. (2)

Junta (36770) | about 2 years ago | (#40519917)

Of course, they are charging three times the Apple competitor, the Apple TV....

Re:The pricetag IS the selling point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40520369)

This really isn't a real competitor to the Apple TV. Google TV is more the competitor to that. This is a whole new thing that doesn't really have a clear, obvious market yet. The iPad had a little bit more of an obvious market but still was vaguely the same. WTF do you need an oversized iPhone for? People found some great use cases for it and now it's got a very clear market and purpose. The Nexus Q... obvious little media streaming device that's pretty cool, but it's breaking into a piece of media streaming device that doesn't really exist at this point. Maybe it won't solidify into its own market. Maybe it will. Either way, it's a different class than the Apple TV, which Google TV is the proper competitor to from Google.

Re:The pricetag IS the selling point. (1)

Junta (36770) | about 2 years ago | (#40521083)

If the scenario sold into is HDMI connected, then it's hard to argue that it won't be an apple TV competitor.

If you argue that it is going to be mostly connected directly to speakers and primarily a hub for music streaming, then it is competing against a myriad of bookshelf stereo systems, including those with Apple iPhone/iPod/iPad integration that would be analagous to the way Q extends Android device(s). I suppose you could say the novelty is the multi-master scenario being explicitly brought front and center, and maybe that's what they think is the key, I'd say they are being very optimistic. I'd also say that if that is specifically the use case envisioned, they way over-sized the hardware and priced themselves out (the bookshelf systems run in the low 100s even *with* included speakers, and we can't pretend it competes with the higher end receivers that are sold without speakers).

If they think this is going to usher in a new age of end-user extensibility atop their platform, then their competition is the HTPC environment. This is the only scenario where Google could be construed as competitively priced, but with lower feature set.

Re:The pricetag IS the selling point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40520857)

This is because the Nexus Q is manufactured entirely in the U.S., not in Asia, with American labor's higher costs. They are quite up front about this, and explain that this is why the price is so high. They could have outsourced the manufacturing part to FoxConn and made a cheaper device (probably in the $150-$200 range), but chose not to take that route for political reasons.

Re:The pricetag IS the selling point. (1)

Junta (36770) | about 2 years ago | (#40522043)

To say the price difference is *solely* due to the US labor cost is disingenious. Apple TV has half the ram, a single core A5 SoC, and no amp. You could probably pick apart the design more, but I would say that most of the cost delta is how they specced it out, *not* where it is made. Google has over-speced it for now and their initial marketed value proposition. If they do have long term plans and recognize that it will flop until those plans are realized, then so be it.If they did this as an exercise to 'prove' that USA manfacturing is non-competitive, well that would be regretable.

well.. I admit.. (4, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40519103)

I am a bit of a Google fanboy and I couldn't resist putting in an order for one of the first Nexus Qs.

This is in spite of the fact that I own two Rokus (one for my main TV, one for my GoogleTV) and have an XBMC box for my main TV. It's not like I needed one. But I am interested in seeing how it works.

It is likely a device that isn't going to make it, at least if they keep it bottled up and Google doesn't let other devices access the Q. If they do keep it open I think it has a slight chance. I have no idea what the chances of that are, but why shouldn't Netflix or Hulu or any other app not be able to access it? I am sure that the DRM-meisters will come up with reasons.

As for MicroSD... did everyone here forget that the Nexus 7 is going to have host mode? Sure it is not built in, but you can use SD cards all you want.

Re:well.. I admit.. (3, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 2 years ago | (#40519233)

I am a bit of a Google fanboy and I couldn't resist putting in an order for one of the first Nexus Qs.

This is in spite of the fact that I own two Rokus (one for my main TV, one for my GoogleTV) and have an XBMC box for my main TV.

This doesn't make you a Google fanboy, it makes you an electronics gadget fanboy. No shame in that. ;)

Re:well.. I admit.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40522471)

As for MicroSD... did everyone here forget that the Nexus 7 is going to have host mode? Sure it is not built in, but you can use SD cards all you want.

I have 16GB of MP3s, if I loaded them all on to the Nexus 7 I'd have no space for apps and games, so with the Nexus 7 I either load a subset of my collection and keep changing it to suit my whims or I have a dongle hanging off my device whenever I want to listen to music, neither option is particularly good. Host-mode is fine for transferring a few files, but not for something semi-permanent.

Subtraction by subtraction? (4, Insightful)

coldsalmon (946941) | about 2 years ago | (#40519163)

What does that mean?

Re:Subtraction by subtraction? (2, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 2 years ago | (#40519521)

Instead of the squishy Apple-ism of "less is more," the Nexus Q is perhaps "less is less."

Re:Subtraction by subtraction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519551)

Why didn't the headline just say that then?

Re:Subtraction by subtraction? (2)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 years ago | (#40521523)

It means that the article's author, the editor, and indeed most of the commenters and readers of this story will all have no idea what this story is really about, no idea of what to say in response to it, and no idea of how to respond to the comments that are made.

This thread is basically going to be the online version of an art student stoner party discussing the Nexus. Enjoy reading 100 commenter talking past one another.

12.5W/channel? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40519203)

On the other hand, it’s worth mentioning that a decent 12.5W/channel isn’t necessarily something to sneeze at. Just because some receivers have 7 or more channels and behemoth claimed power ratings, with efficient speakers just a few watts can fill any less-than-cavernous room with decent sound, especially if it won’t be pushing giant bass drivers.

Living Room: 22' x 24' x 14'

All your BASS are belong to us...

Re:12.5W/channel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40520673)

Meh! It's a TI Class-D (digital PWM) power amp chip. That barely qualifies as a "decent 12.5W/channel" power amplifier and is certainly not audiophile quality. Go download the spec sheet for one of these chips and take a look at the power output vs THD graphs. (Hint: it shoots up past 1% THD real fast as you approach the rated output power. The THD vs frequency plots are also pretty funky looking...as in nowhere near flat.)

A "decent" stereo power amp would be 50 watts per channel at 0.05% THD. (A $200 Japanese made stereo receiver gets you this level of quality.) But for a "decent" audio power amp you need a "decent" power supply and thats not going to happen in a 4" diameter sphere.

I admit the industrial design of the Nexus Q is pretty neat but otherwise it just seems like a "Look guys! Made in USA!" publicity stunt. And strangely enough, "Made in USA" is probably the best solution for electronic products built in relatively small quantities. (Small meaning hundreds or thousands of units.)

Targeted Advertising (3, Interesting)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 years ago | (#40519235)

And their business model has changed?

They just adding entry/collection points for their tried and true business model. Nothing more; nothing less.

Gateway to other things (1)

Puzzles (874941) | about 2 years ago | (#40519275)

This device will be slow to adopt and I think that is alright. I don't have NFC on my phone, but I bet in a year or so, my phone will have it. Google doesn't want to wait for NFC to be common place before attempting to have applications and solutions for it (Google Wallet/Pay). I suspect Google is implementing this device/system as a means to eventually see us paying for groceries, dinners, bus fare, etc with our Android based phones rather than simply making playlists.

homepage spare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519307)

still admirably spare — Google home page

Last time I checked, the Google homepage was over 400k on a mobile phone. It is not spare by any definition.

Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40519465)

Looks like an absolutely stupid device. There's no published audio specification. Something the size of an Apple TV (current gen.) with 32-bit DAC and RCA output for a current-generation stereo, +HDMI, +SPDIF or +toslink would be much nicer. 24/192 or better (32/384 KHz nice), and capable of double SACD bit-rate audio. Even just 24/96 or 24/192, with RCA +toslink in a nicer form factor for a $100 price would be ok for now. The ball form factor looks amazingly stupid, and the only interesting feature is the likely Class-D or Class-T 25W internal amplification, which would be ok in a bedroom setting, with lame-ass cheap speakers, but that's about it - you'd much rather spend the money for a Devaliet D-Premier, and go the Apple route, for sound-only streaming, anyway, should you want decent digital amplification, and most hobbyists would opt for powered speakers anyway, at the "budget-conscious" ($500 per toy) level.

Astroturfing (-1, Flamebait)

dave562 (969951) | about 2 years ago | (#40519837)

"Please tech savvy /. demographic, do not crap on our new product. Look, it has so much potential!! You guys mostly all hate Apple anyway, so since we are Google we deserve time to get it right. And oh yeah, it was made here in the USA (rah rah rah!), so do not mind the price tag that is significantly more than similar products from our competitors."

Re:Astroturfing (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about 2 years ago | (#40521337)

Right, everyone knows timothy is a new guy here and only has a job because he's on Google payola. /s

Needed to be priced vs AppleTV (3, Interesting)

ThermalRunaway (1766412) | about 2 years ago | (#40519843)

I'm not an Apple fanboy (or Android). But I do like the AppleTV, its small and cheap ($99), and streams everything that I care about... my music library, Netflix, and I can rent moves from iTunes. While its missing some items like Hulu, or expandable apps... for $99 I don't care. And the new screen mirroring features are pretty nice.

Q could be interesting, but for 3x the price, what exactly am I getting? Android only, can't stream Pandora, etc, no screen casting option. Even AppleTV supports streaming from Android (via a 3-rd party app).

If Q were $100 or maybe even $150, I would seriously consider it just to get away from Apple, and for the potential hacks that will come, but they screwed up the procing big time.

Re:Needed to be priced vs AppleTV (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40520923)

The Nexus Q will never beat any of the competing device on price. That's because Google intentionally chose to manufacture it entirely in the United States, with its higher labor costs. They could have outsourced this to Asia, as all the other competitors do, but they wanted to see if they could kick some action into the failing domestic economy. This is the price business pays for NOT outsourcing manufacturing to other countries. Fortunately, Google is successful enough to be able to absorb a loss on initial sales, and hope enthusiasm builds so that the product can eventually be profitable, but it could take quite a while. I do wish they'd play up this angle in their marketing campaign, especially around the 4th of July, and encourage U.S. Consumers to "buy American" even though Apple's entry into this space is so much cheaper.

Removed MHL/Video out so you must by the Nexus Q (0)

BrookHarty (9119) | about 2 years ago | (#40519915)

Intentionally crippling the Nexus 7 so you have to buy the Nexus Q really is a FU to loyal customers.

Nexus 7 has no MHL and no SD Card. Cripple functionality to sell addons and services, that's not cool google.

What is the problem the Q is trying to solve? (1)

hsmith (818216) | about 2 years ago | (#40520139)

I sat and watched IO and - I just couldn't figure it out. "What does it do?" I sat there thinking. Google couldn't articulate what the Q accomplishes, how do they expect people to want to buy them? HTPC, the AppleTV, they all solve a discrete problem set. This is sort of like "hey it plugs into the wall, buy it"

Re:What is the problem the Q is trying to solve? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40520645)

It's trying to solve the "how can google completely lock people into the google ecosystem" problem.

I attended IO and received the Q as well as all the other interesting toys. Over the weekend I finally had a chance to test the Q head-to-head with an AppleTV. Hands down the AppleTV won. The AppleTV could stream all my favorite music, videos and photos locally was a Windows box. None of the content was purchased through mythical "Apple lock-in". Plus, Netflix works out of the box.

Meanwhile, the Q required an Android device running Jelly Bean in order to activate the Q. The Android device was also the only way to control the Q. Local streaming is not an option. The only method of consumption is from the "Google Cloud".

Personally I do not care about the Q's hackable potential. I have better things to do with my time. Plus, I don't do "TheCloud". Networks can and do go down. And, I prefer to control my own content.

Now to find some sucker to take the Q off my hands.

Re:What is the problem the Q is trying to solve? (2)

n7ytd (230708) | about 2 years ago | (#40522353)

...Meanwhile, the Q required an Android device running Jelly Bean in order to activate the Q. The Android device was also the only way to control the Q.

Wow, seriously? I not only have to have an Android device, but an Android device running a version of the OS that was only released last week? So, apparently the only people who can use the Q are the people who attended I/O and received both as gifts?

Google has been throwing these set-top/streaming boxes at the wall for each of the last 3 I/Os, and they've yet to make one stick.

Local streaming is not an option. The only method of consumption is from the "Google Cloud".

Personally I do not care about the Q's hackable potential. I have better things to do with my time. Plus, I don't do "TheCloud". Networks can and do go down. And, I prefer to control my own content.

Now to find some sucker to take the Q off my hands.

So let me see if I can sum it up: No local storage, no way to stream local content, requires another (as yet mythical) Android device to operate, costs at least 3x what every other comparable device costs.

Should be flying off the shelves. Brace yourselves, Google! I hope you anticipated the demand and made hundreds of them!

Re:What is the problem the Q is trying to solve? (1)

breeze95 (880714) | about 2 years ago | (#40523823)

I sat and watched IO and - I just couldn't figure it out. "What does it do?" I sat there thinking. Google couldn't articulate what the Q accomplishes, how do they expect people to want to buy them? HTPC, the AppleTV, they all solve a discrete problem set. This is sort of like "hey it plugs into the wall, buy it"

What is it that Apple TV solves that Google Q doesn't?

When will it have Google TV features? (2)

steveha (103154) | about 2 years ago | (#40521015)

It has quite good hardware specs. Why isn't this thing running the Google TV software already?

All it really is: a media player that must pull media from the Google Play store or from YouTube. For $300?

I like the design; it looks different, and I like the LEDs. If this thing grows a few more features I might actually buy one. But it would be a hard sell with just its current feature set.

steveha

Did Q cripple Nexus 7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40521205)

The reason I hate the Q is because it seems Google removed HMDI (MHL) from the Nexus 7 to force us to buy a Q. But the result is that I won't buy a Q or a Nexus 7. My laptops are a bit dated and cannot play 1080p at full frame rate. I have a small highly portable projector with HMDI in. Nexus 7 would be perfect for me as portable media playback device. I could also use it for presentations using an HTML5 based slideshow. I can think of loads of cool use cases for Nexus 7 with TV out but none for the Q. I think would really annoy me having friends switching track after the intro of each song.

Don't be so hysterical. It's v.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40523003)

You should never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

And you must never buy Version 1 of -anything-. It is guaranteed to be as buggy and flawed as hell.

It will be fixed. Relax.

roundheads (3)

PMuse (320639) | about 2 years ago | (#40523113)

fsck round! There is no value in sphericality to _the owner_ of this device. The shape is a marketing gimmick to make it look enticing to a purchaser. I don't mind a little marketing, so long as it stays out of the way of usefulness.

Please go back to building me flat, stackable, rectangular boxen.

Beige ones.

And get off my lawn.

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