The Android operating system is usually being used in mobile devices and rarely in home appliances. RCA however decided that a stereo system would have better features with Android on-board which is why we now have the RCA Internet Music System. It looks like any ordinary home audio system with 20 watt Bluetooth speakers which can be used by other devices, a CD player, and an FM radio. What’s unique about this stereo is that it uses a 7-inch Android tablet as its touchscreen controller.
The RCA Internet Music System is currently available at Walmart and is selling for $178. The 7-inch Android tablet that’s built-in the audio system is where all the action occurs. Consumers will be able to stream music from Google Play Music, Pandora, or any other online music provider. Videos coming from YouTube, Netflix, and Google Play Movies can also be viewed from the touchscreen display.
- 1.2GHz Dual Core processor
- 1GB of system memory
- 7″ touchscreen, 800 x 480 resolution, virtual keyboard
- Built-in 802.11b/g/n WiFi
- Front 0.3MP webcam
- 4GB on-board storage memory, additional memory via SD card slot
- 2 speakers
- Up to 4 hours of run time on a full charge
- Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Android browser and Google Play (for applications)
- Android Music Player
The 7-inch tablet can also be detached from the stereo itself and used as a stand-alone device. Compared to other similar tablets in the market today the one used by RCA isn’t that great at all having a resolution of only 800 x 480 pixels. It does have one important feature that most tablets don’t and that is it can be used as a controller for a home stereo system.
Navigating the menus of the Internet Music System is easy since consumers will only need to touch the display. It even has access to the Google Play Store which allows for the downloading of apps. For those who don’t want to constantly go to the audio system to change the FM station or skip to the next CD track then the tablet can be detached and used as a remote control using Bluetooth connection. You can also use the included 27 button IR remote control but then it isn’t able to control some Android specific activities.
For those who love to watch movies on a larger screen there’s an HDMI port which can be used to hook-up a larger TV.
In terms of sound quality the stereo system provides a relatively loud sound from its 20 watt speakers. Since the speakers have a Bluetooth feature a smartphone, tablet, or laptop can connect to it and use it as an output device.
Overall, the RCA Internet Music System is interesting equipment that aims to bring Android functionality to stereo systems. It may not be the best Android device or the best stereo system available n the market but by combining both it is able to provide a unique experience to consumers.