HDTVs more or less have been pretty much restricted in their functionality, because with a screen so big, there’s a lot more you can do than just use it for content consumption. Right? Enter Portronics Limebox. This little piece of hardware let’s you run Android on your TV with the ability to do a lot more than just watch videos. But, is it worthy enough to turn your idiot box into a smart television? Let’s find out.
Design and Build Quality
The Limebox comes dressed in bright lime green and white and considering it’s going to be sitting there in your living room, we reckon the design department could have launched alternative variations with different (read: better) colour combinations. It’s got a glossy finish to it and attracts quite a few fingerprints. Let’s take a quick tour of this device.
Range of connectivity options at the back
The front has a large power button that glows blue when the Limebox is on. It's got four rubber grips underneath and an SD card slot on the top. A range of connectivity options are covered at the back. There are two USB ports, an optical audio port, the power slot, an HDMI slot, an RGB slot, an Ethernet cable and a RESET button. The Limebox has quite a few heat vents so heating shouldn’t really be a problem.
SD card support
Depending upon the interiors of your house, this device might nicely co-ordinate with your surroundings or stick out like a sore thumb. Either way, what you see is what you get, so you’ll have to stay put with that.
Worth a buy
The Limebox is powered by a 1.2GHz Rockchip processor and has 512 MB of RAM, 4GB of NAND Flash memory and runs on Android 2.3. Because it's meant to be used with your TV or any other large monitor, the UI has been greatly modified from the stock Android interface. There's no lock screen, menu screen, multiple home screens or any of that – just one simple screen with folders. There's media, Internet TV, Browser, Game, Apps and Setting on the front screen with each of them housing their respective widgets. It has a well thought of interface so you don't have any unnecessary swiping to do - just click and you are good to go.
A weather report and news widget has been pre-loaded as well. A long press on the mouse button allows you to add more folders and widgets, but we weren’t too happy with the other stock widgets as they would mess up the existing folders on the screen. Online services like YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Bing Search, Vimeo and more are available so there’s no dearth of things you can do with this device. Video calls are supported as well.
Setting up the Limebox is pretty easy. All you need to do is plug the HDMI cord into the TV and the Limebox. Like any other Android device, you'll have to manually configure your Google account and connect it to your home Wi-Fi network to get started. The inbuilt remote is good enough for usage but a keyboard and mouse combination further extends the Limebox’s productivity. Sadly though, they aren’t bundled along with the package and need to be purchased externally.
Running Android 2.3
It’s worth noting that we did face a few problems with respect to the interface being displayed on the screen, but a restart would solve it, and we reckoned it was due to handshaking issues between the TV and the player.
Media playback on the Limebox has been handled well. The Limebox comes with MP4, MOV, AVI, DVD, VIDEO, ASF, WMV, MKV, RM, RMVB, TS, TP, DAT, MPG, MPEG and VOB playback support which in itself are quite a number of formats. 1080p videos played without any stutter or lag whatsoever and that’s a big plus. The device takes close to a minute to startup, so it’s not exactly plug and play – more like plug, wait and play.
Sitting nicely next to your TV
Browsing via the default browser is a breeze, because now you are armed with a mouse and keyboard. It’s as simple as browsing on your laptop, albeit with a bigger screen and fewer keyboard shortcuts. The Limebox effectively transforms your TV into a duplex device of sorts.
We downloaded quite a few apps from the Google Play Store. Upon downloading, the user gets an option on where to place his new applications, so apps, games and other content can be neatly segregated. Also, the singular screen on the TV makes a lot more sense because anybody from your grandmom to your child can operate it without a hassle. The preloaded games worked like a charm on the Limebox. However, not all games are supported. Fruit Ninja played well but Shadowgun simply crashed. Also, a lot of games like Line Runner are touch based, so they are simply not playable with a mouse. Games like Angry Birds Space are pretty fun to play on the bigger screen.
The Portronics Limebox is priced at 8,499 (MRP). With Android on board, a range of connectivity options, 1080p video playback out of the box and the ability to download a range of Apps from the Android store, the Limebox makes for an entertainment powerhouse for your TV. The addition of a wireless keyboard and mouse would have definitely sealed the deal, but yet, the Limebox makes for a portable, powerful and efficient device for your TV.
Portronics Limebox gives you anytime access to endless entertainment. Thousands of HD movies and TV shows from YouTube- many in stunning 1080p - play through Limebox on your HDTV. You just click and watch. Plug and Play - Easy to setup: Setting up limebox takes almost no time at all. Just plug the power cord into the wall and connect limebox to your widescreen TV using an HDMI cable or RGB cable. Also expose the limebox to the Wifi environment or connect the Ethernet cable. Portable, Powerful and Efficient: Limebox sits neatly on a TV stand or in a crowded media cabinet. And the included limebox remote makes it easy to get to your favourite entertainment. Instead you can use any wireless keyboard or mouse to cater to the entertainment. Android Market: Dig into apps-from news to entertainment, business to education. Whatever you're into, you can find an app that's into it, too. Designed for TVs: Enjoy Web, apps, video calling, etc very easily on the TV. House wives, Elders and kids can also use this interface with much ease. Cruise the Web with full-size keyboard control: Limebox doesn't just bring the Web to your TV with Google; it also gives you an easy and quick way to navigate the Web thanks to its full-size wireless keyboard or mouse (not included). Media player: Access the content from HDD, SD card or USB drive Now you can connect the HDD, Pen drive or any SD card and view all your photos, videos, text onto your TV. Gaming Now it is not required to purchase expensive gaming consoles and expensive gaming contents. You can download all free gaming from the Android market and use keyboard and mouse to play on your big TV. Few popular games like Angrybirds, Fruit Ninja, etc are the part of the Hardware already.
|Video Formats||MP4, MOV, AVI, DVD, VIDEO, ASF, WMV, MKV, RM, RMVB, TS, TP, DAT, MPG, MPEG, VOB|
|Audio Formats||MPEG-1Layer 3, WMA, WMA por, MPEG-1/2 Layer 1/2, ADPCM, AAC, OGG Vorbis, Dolby, Digital ACS, RA-COOK, FLAC, DTS, DTS HD, Down-mixing|
|Processor||1.2 GHz Rockchip Processor|
|Memory (RAM)||DDR3 512MB|
|Wi-Fi Support||802.11 b/g/n|
Online Streaming Services
|iOS/Android Apps Support||Android 2.3|
|Other Features||Watch TV, Surf the Web, Download apps from Android Market, Make a video call|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||150 x 190 x 78 mm|