This is one of those products that I truly cannot wait to experience and review firsthand: LG is bringing the quirky, one-of-a-kind StanbyME Go to the United States later this month for $999.99. If you missed its international launch, which flew under the radar for many, let me catch you up: the StanbyME Go is a 27-inch 1080p LCD TV housed in a large suitcase that also contains a built-in battery and 20-watt speakers.
The idea is that this thing can be a portable entertainment solution whether you’re at a picnic, on a family vacation, or just hanging out on the back patio. Maybe you’ll bring it tailgating with all your pals during football season. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and the StanbyME Go’s three-hour battery life.
Its display “can be swiveled, tilted, and rotated while in landscape and portrait orientations and table mode,” according to LG’s press release. If you’re wondering why you’d ever want to use the StanbyME Go in table mode, apparently there are some games optimized for the device’s touchscreen.
Since this is technically a TV — a very strange TV, but a TV nonetheless — it runs LG’s webOS software, so you get the full array of streaming apps you’d expect. You can control it via the touchscreen, an included remote (that has its own spot in the suitcase), or through voice controls.
LG says the StanbyME Go also “supports AirPlay and screen mirroring compatible with iOS and Android devices, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.” But I’d imagine that if you’re not hauling it to your local coffee shop or the deck, you’ll be relying on your phone’s hotspot connection a whole lot to keep the TV shows and movies going.
This 27-inch portable TV is also claimed to offer Dolby Vision and virtualized Dolby Atmos audio from its four speakers. The company doesn’t mention any peak brightness numbers, and I’m guessing they’d be quite modest anyway considering the StanbyME Go’s advertised three-hour battery life. But if you’re bringing it camping, I suppose you could always keep it charged up with your car. Just tack on some extra time at the airport if you’ll be flying with this gadget: the TSA is likely going to have some questions.
According to LG’s site, the StanbyME Go has an outdoor picture mode to keep it visible in sunlight; you’ve gotta figure that’ll sap the battery even faster, however. There are also eight ambient themes “like a cozy crackling fireplace or a beach scene with the sound of crashing waves.”
Would I still recommend most everyone stick with one of LG’s renowned OLED TVs over this thing? Oh, in a heartbeat. But those aren’t nearly as peculiar or unconventional as a TV in a suitcase. I’ll bet some of your friends already have an OLED, but when you bring this thing into their living room, it’ll be a new experience for everyone. You’ll just need to wait for our review to find out whether it’s actually an enjoyable one.
Tragically, you won’t be able to get a look at this truly odd product yourself in retail stores like Best Buy: LG plans to sell it exclusively through its own website, with orders shipping at the end of August. If you preorder in the near future, the company will toss in its Xboom 360 Bluetooth speaker, normally valued at $249.