However, unlike a conventional PC, which can access streaming content from major broadcast network providers including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, the Revue is blocked out—attempts to access streaming video from those sites is met with a message along the lines of “The device, operating system or web browser you’re using is not supported…” On the ABC.com site, there’s a help message that details what you need in order to watch their content, which lists among other browsers, Google’s Chrome, which is the heart of their Google TV service, at least as provided with the Logitech Revue. What’s up with that?
Still, for YouTube fans, the keyboard allows quick and easy searching of the vast amount of content, made ever so much easier by typing in search words. As an internet browser, the Revue is hampered by rather pokey speed, with pages taking much longer to load than with a dedicated PC or laptop. The culprit here could be Intel’s Atom processor, which is no speed demon at all, and was most likely designed for energy efficiency rather than processing prowess. My Atom-powered Asus netbook is similarly sluggish, and provides a correspondingly lethargic surfing experience.
Other quirks include confusing keyboard command combinations, which include three-fingered combinations to activate search and other functions, as well as a sub-menu that provides for opening and closing tabs—the icon for closing a tab is an “X”, but hitting the X key itself doesn’t do anything. That’s just plain dumb.
One of the product’s appeals is video telephony—Logitech offers a companion video phone camera, said to provide 1080p HD quality video. Yeah, right. While the number of pixels in the imaging sensor are touted for full 1080p, in video phone mode the camera’s resolution is claimed to be 720p, but the actual video quality is much more akin to that of a smartphone, which is to say mediocre. Promo clips for the Revue’s companion video cam on Logitech’s website imply a smooth and sharp HD video image quality, but in actuality, the picture is decidedly grainy and suffers from a slow frame rate with visible stutter in evidence. The camera itself is well-designed, and features a fold-out clip on the base that allows it to be easily mounted on the top of a flat-panel TV. It’s USB-powered, and ships with an extension cord that allows connection to the Revue box from about 12 feet away.
Overall, the Logitech Revue falls into the “might be” category; that is, it might be a compelling product sometime in the future. For avid Internet surfers who want to have the ability to stream content directly to their HDTV, it might be enough for now. However, until Google finds a way around having content blocked from major TV providers, it makes sense to hold off until they fix the problem, and provide additional compelling apps that are supposedly coming. We’ll see, and follow-up as events transpire.
Video Inputs and Outputs: 1 each HDMI
Digital Audio Outputs: 1 optical
Other Connections: 1 Ethernet, 2 USB ports
Dimensions (WxHxD): 10” x 1.7” x 7”
Warranty: 1 year parts and labor
Price: $299.00 ($179.00 if purchased directly from Dish Network)