Every year has its theme in the tech world. While we are just half way through 2014, it already appears that this year may be known as “Stick This In Your TV” or STIYT. While you may not be ready to run out and buy a shirt with STIYT on it, you may well want to smarten up your TV by attaching a stick into its HDMI port.
Today we review the iDeaTV Android Computer TV Smart Stick device from iDeaUSA. The field for devices to make your HDMI TV smarter is already crowded with the likes of the Roku Streaming Stick, Chromecast and others. What separates the iDeaTV device is that it claims to put a fully functional Android device on your TV. Does it really work? We’re so glad you asked…
Please watch our video review of the iDeaTV Android Computer On a Stick -
Now Your TV Can Be A Simple Android Based Computer
While the stick format of the iDeaTV will draw comparisons to the Roku Streaming Stick and Chromecast, the iDeaTV tries to be much more ambitious. Rather than just providing a way to stream movies and photos, the iDeaTV actually gives you an Android computer on a stick. Here are the specs –
- Dual Core A9 1.6GHz processor
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- 8GB of internal memory; expandable up to 32GB with micro SD card
- Wireless keyboard w/ trackpad for easy navigation
- Preloaded apps for your instant pleasure
While it is impressive they can fit all the technology on a stick, the specs are below what you would find on a current Android tablet. Android 4.1 is a few versions back from the current release, but unless you need to run some new apps that utilize Android 4.2 or higher, it tends to work fine.
Great for Browsing The Web and Checking Email. Games, Not So Much…
As we show in the video, if you are looking for a device that allows you to use your TV to browse the web, check email, watch movies and stream music – the iDeaTV works well. You have full access to the Google Play Store so you can install whatever Android apps you like and use your TV like a giant tablet.
The one major downside to the iDeaTV? It does not work well for games. Most Android games expect that you will be using a touch interface and the included remote is not able to recreate that interface. In addition, some games want you to tilt and move your Android devices, which you just can’t do when your Android device is your 60″ TV! If playing Android games is what you are primarily looking to do, you will be disappointed with the iDeaTV. On the other hand, if you are more into browsing, email, videos and photos – you will have a much better experience.
Which Stick Will You Pick?
iDeaTV, Roku Streaming Stick, Chromecast – which one do you pick? It really depends on what you are looking to achieve. If you want a drop dead simple way to stream movies and TV shows, with an excellent interface, we like the Roku Streaming Stick. If you are looking for a simple way to cast content from a PC or phone to your TV – the Google Chromecast is a good choice.
If you are looking to run a pretty full Android computer on your TV, the iDeaTV is the way to go. The iDeaTV allows you to do much more than the Roku Streaming Stick or Chromecast, because it opens your TV up to the entire world of Android apps. Unfortunately, games do not work well with the iDeaTV, so if you are gamer, you need to look elsewhere.
iDeaTV sells for about $59 at Frys and that includes the very cool wireless keyboard remote. So, if you are looking for an affordable way to use your TV as a giant Android tablet – the iDeaTV is a good way to go.
iDeaTV Android Computer TV Smart Stick is from iDeaUSA and sells for about $60