If you were one of those unfortunate souls who purchased a top-of-the-line HDTV just before SmartTV’s hit the market, you now have plenty of ways to upgrade. The recently announced SmartStick by FAVI is one of those options and is near the top of the heap in terms of cool-factor. The SmartStick looks just like your average thumb drive, but it actually plugs into your HDMI input. Once there it edifies your TV and allows you to utilize the newest Android OS to download apps or browse the web.
The Bond-esque SmartStick doesn’t include a keypad remote — something that we feel is a must-own if you want to truly enjoy your SmartTV’s features. Unless, that is, you’re a masochist and you actually enjoy entering web addresses, account ID’s, and passwords slowly and painfully with your remote. FAVI is, however, marketing a mini wireless keyboard with a built-in touchpad as an add-on accessory.
The SmartStick promises access to streaming media services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, HBO GO, Facebook, Pinterest and most of the other usual SmartTV suspects. It also packs in a web browser and 4GB of built-in flash memory. Outside of that, details are scant. Favi doesn’t indicate the stick’s maximum resolution or how it connects to the internet wirelessly but we’ve requested more info and will be sure to update as soon as we hear back.
There is one hitch we’re quite sure of, however: the SmartStick requires USB power, meaning either your TV will need to have a USB port or you’ll have to hijack one from your Xbox 360 or some other device.
The Favi SmartStick is currently available via pre-order at its website and is expected to ship on October 30, 2012. It will retail for just $50 at popular retailers like Amazon, Newegg and Best Buy, but you can tack on another $40 for the wireless keyboard you’ll probably want to get with it. While it appears to be a pretty solid deal at $90, we’ll reserve our enthusiasm until we’ve gotten our hands on one.