Infinitec vs Equiso: Battle of the Smart TV

For a while now, I’ve been looking into getting a home PC.  You can read about another option I looked into, in my post called To PC or Not To PC.  I was looking for something small, compact and one that won’t take up too much room.  A nice feature would be to be able to use my existing 47″ TV as the monitor.  Well, I found two options new. Infinitec Pocket TV and Equiso Smart TV.

As evident from most of the posts in my blog, especially I’m Not A Hater, I’m an Android guy.  What this device does is it turns your TV into an Android device, and all its glory.  It runs Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and they both say they will continue to update the operating system as new versions come out, such as Jelly Bean 4.1.  This is the best part for me.  If this is something that I want for my home, I’d want my kids to be able to use it.  Since every device we have right now is Android based, my kids already know how to navigate the different versions, from Gingerbread 2.3 on the cell phones, to Honeycomb 3.0 on my wife’s Dell Streak 7 tablet, to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 on my Motorola Xoom.  As useful as learning a Windows based operating system will be in the long run for my kids, they don’t need it now.  They’ll start learning computers in school soon enough.  Let them enjoy what they already know at home.

Infinitec Pocket TV

Equiso Smart TV

So, which one should I get? Infinitec or Equiso?  The actual devices are small, about the size of a big USB flash drive. They connect to any TV with an HDMI port, and assuming your TV doesn’t have the ability to provide power through that port (MHL for all of you looking for tech specifics), a MicroUSB cable and power adapter are provided.   From a hardware standpoint, they are almost identical, aside from a slightly older processor in the Equiso.  But from the Equiso Kickstarter comments, the older processor will actually be faster and not get as hot. Infinitec has 4GB of internal storage, while the Equiso has 8GB, for storing movies, TV shows, pictures, etc.  Both have WiFi and Bluetooth available.

Infinitec IR Remote & Air Remote

Then we get to the Remote/Keyboard.  The Infinitec gives you two remote options.  The standard IR Remote controls your TV with up/down/side arrows and several of buttons. Not much in terms of interaction,  For an additional cost, you can get the Air Remote.  This gives you a full QWERTY keyboard with a gyroscopic sensor for a full interactive experience, so you can move the remote like you would a Wii or PS3 controller. It is also pretty compact, with small, tightly squeezing the buttons into the space. 

Two Sides of the Equiso Remote

The Equiso ships with one option, a two sided controller, that combines the Infinitec’s IR Remote and Air Remote into one. One one side is the arrow keys, home, back and a few other buttons.  Flipping the remote over gives you a fuller, more expanded QWERTY keyboard, that looks easier to hold.  It also has the gyroscopic sensor so acts like a Wii controller as well.  It senses which side is up so you can’t hit a key on the bottom side accidentally while holding it. This would definitely be my choice.

Now to the price tags.  Both are Kickstarter projects.  The Infinitec was funded on July 10th, overshooting its pledge goal by more than of $400,000, so they don’t need my money.  The $119 pledge option is sold out, but you can still get the Pocket TV and Air Remote for a pledge of $135, and a choice of colors from black, White or red.  I wouldn’t recommend anything less, because the smaller pledges come with the IR remote only, which is pretty much useless. Equiso is still short of its goal, with the project looking to be funded by July 28th.  With a pledge of $99, you can get the Smart TV Pro (1GB RAM instead of Original which only has 512MB RAM), with the double sided remote.  If I wanted to spend what I’d have to spend on the Infinitec, I could get TWO of the Equiso’s.  

Equiso Smart TV

Either way, Smart TV’s are the next wave (Not Google Wave. That was a complete flop, but I digress.) of home entertainment and technology, and this is a much more economical way of getting it, rather than buying a new TV with the Smart technology included.  So this just became an easier choice.  I hope you all agree.  If not, let me know what you think in the comments below.

Personally, I’m going for the Equiso Smart TV.  I’ll write a full review once I get my hands on it.  Estimated deliver is October 2012.  I’m not sure I can really wait that long, but I guess I don’t have much of a choice now, do I…

– Yak

UPDATE: When I wrote this post at the end of last week, Equiso was still about $15,000 short of its goal.  It has since surpassed the $100K mark, with just over $120K and it is still climbing.  Lets keep it going.

Battle of the Smart TV

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