There are dozens of Android-powered media center boxes on the market, most with low-power ARM processors from companies such as Rockchip, Amlogic, or Allwinner. But the Qubi Media Center is an Android TV box with the same chip found in the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S III smartphones.
The Qubi is powered by a 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor with Adreno 320 graphics. The rest of the specs are pretty nice too, including 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, an IR receiver, WiFi, Ethernet, and USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.
- Snapdragon 600 Chipset
- 1.7 GHz Quad Core Krait CPU
- Adreno 320 GPU
- Full 1080p HD video decoding
- 1.4 HDMI Connection
- HDMI Passthrough
- 16 GB storage
- 2 GB Ram
- Micro SD Expansion Slot
- Dual Band WiFi b/g/n/ac
- Miracast Capability
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Optical Audio
- 1 x USB 3 Port
- 3 x USB 2 Ports
- Bluetooth 4.0
- iR Receiver
- HD Audio Support Dolby & DTS
- Power plug with all region pins
The device is also said to support Miracast, Dolby & DTS audio decoding, HDMI pass-through, and there will be a customized and “streamlined” version of XBMC install in the box. As you can see from the picture above, the enclosure for the player has not been done yet, but they have a working demo on a prototype PCB which is currently running Android 4.2 with a customized UI, but the version may be upgraded at the time of release (July 2014). That’s one of the rare media player with Wi-Fi ac which should be able to stream any 1080p videos you throw at it, as well as Gigabit Ethernet which may not be that useful in this type of device.
A dual sided remote will also be included with one size used as a standard remote, and the other a QWERTY keyboard, with both sides backlit. Using a Wi-Fi direct connection, it will also function as an air mouse, and the built-in microphone will be useful for voice command and Skype. There’s also an headset jack for the same purpose.
- Double sided remote including QWERTY keyboard
- Backlit both sides
- WiFi Direct
- USB Rechargeable
- Headphone output (Use Qubi without disturbing others)
- Built in Mic (Voice commands for Qubi launcher or Skype)
There’s no included game controller, but the company recommends Moga Bluetooth controller to play games with Qubi, and probably other Android devices.
It can handle most Android games as well as most Android meia apps including Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, and Pandora.
The company is looking for funding via Kickstarter to complete development, and manufacture at least 4,000 units. The early bird pledge is $129 for Qubi and its remote, and the regular pledge is $149. Add $30 for shipping if you live outside the US. The price is actually quite aggressive considering the hardware provided, but the expected delivery (July 2014) may have put off some people for this type of device, as they’ve only received about $26,000 in pledges out of the $500,000 requested with 14 days left to go, so the product may never see the light of the day. Their XBMC source code modifications will apparently be made available in September 2014, based on the $30 pledge to get the source only (People who pledged for the box will get the code for free if they ask).