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Blog Post

A Look at the Google Nexus Q

If you thought you needed the Nexus Q, you’re probably wrong

Google is pushing their ecosystem past the desktop and mobile environments. Starting with Google TV and continuing with the Nexus Q, Google is attempting to move their ecosystem into your living. A user of Google TV myself, I have enjoyed the system and the user interface, but it is clearly a beta product. The current Google TV interface is lacking, yet capable. It needs more third-party developer support, a concern which I’m sure will plague the Nexus Q.

The Nexus Q has USB/HDMI/Ethernet/Optical/WiFi, but it also has a built in amplifier to power real speakers. This does make the somewhat capable of being it’s own surround system (albeit with unpowered speakers next to it), yet any real audiophile will have it plugged into a far superior set up.

If you thought you needed the Nexus Q, you’re probably wrong

The Nexus Q offers a nice, solid ability to play music, check out YouTube and do other webcentric capabilities. It has already been hacked to play Angry Birds, and will probably see further Android Development.

The Nexus Q has a bevy of connection ports, including amplified outputs for speakers

However, the Nexus Q is another (in a long line) of Google Beta products. While the intent and the possibility for success is there, the execution has fallen short. My first concern with the Nexus Q is that it requires a smartphone or tablet to control it. Instead of being a full on Android computer (of which it is fully capable), it is somewhat hampered.

The Q is designed to play nice with all your Android devices (but especially if they have NFC).

Google is trying hard to find a place in the living room, to extend their ecosystem past traditional or mobile computing. While tablets, especially the Nexus 7 will do great, in the living room, replacing set top boxes and the like is going to be harder. Internet TV has been somewhat successful with the Roku and the Apple TV, but these are inexpensive options (compared to the $299 that the Nexus Q costs).

This is where the Nexus Q really fails, it is far too expensive for what it offers. Google has started to change way that mobile devices cost with the GSM Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7 tablets, yet they are asking for over 3x the going rate of comparative devices.

I (along with many others) would certainly be willing to roll the dice on the Nexus Q for just $99, but at $299, I just find the price too steep for the pay off. When you can purchase the Nexus 7 tablet for just $199/$249 or still one of the strongest smartphones on the market (the GSM Galaxy Nexus for$349) $299 for the Nexus Q is just a little too rich for my blood.

Please leave your comments about the Nexus Q below, will you be buying one?

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder of Crucial Point and publisher of