Lenovo isn't the first brand that comes to mind when you think of TVs. Indeed, the Chinese manufacturer has been a total non-presence in the television space, with its display technology limited to notebooks and monitors. However, all that may be set to change if the company's debut LED TV is anything to go by.
Revealed at CES Unveiled, the Lenovo K91 Smart TV is a 55in LED IP TV that runs on Android 4.0. Lenovo claims the K91 is the first TV to run Android's latest OS, even beating Google to the punch. It comes with some pretty impressive components, including a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and 1GB of RAM, along with an inbuilt 5-megapixel camera for all your Skype needs.
The Lenovo K91 UI: smart and simple.
The Ice Cream Sandwich-based interface, appropriately dubbed 'Sandwich', allows you to switch between free-to-air television, video on demand, Internet apps and gaming.
We had some hands-on time with the TV at a CES pre-show event and found it to be perfectly responsive. While perhaps not the slickest looking TV interface we've seen, it's speedy and intuitively laid out.
The games on display had a very 'Wii' flavour, which is no bad thing for a TV.
Lenovo also seems serious about the K91's gaming capabilities - a gamepad is included in the sales package along with the remote. We saw a few games in action and they're definitely a cut above the usual IP TV fare; although don't expect PlayStation 3-calibre graphics.
But the TV's biggest innovation is probably its remote control: it comes with a touchpad, 5-way keys, a Wii-style motion sensor and an inbuilt microphone that responds to voice commands.
The Lenovo K91 TV remote responds to voice commands.
Presumably, the remote's speech recognition software has been designed to work with Chinese languages, though we're crossing our fingers that this feature will make it into the Australian release.
The Lenovo K91 is set for a Chinese launch in Autumn, with a worldwide release planned some time in the future. The ball's in your court Google...