OPINION: The StanbyMe Go Portable TV was announced in August, but at IFA 23 I got a closer look at it, and it is a gloriously bonkers concept.
Some will probably turn their noses up at it, and I wouldn’t blame them for that, but I think more than a fair share will covet it. Some members of the Trusted Reviews team are making heart-shaped eyes at the portable TV, so there’s very much a desirable appeal about it.
Do you need it? Of course not, but like with the rollable OLED, the StanbyMe Go gets people talking.
It reminds me a little of Tony Stark’s ‘suitcase’ suit in Iron Man 2 but inside is a 27-inch, 1080p screen that can be pulled out on a retractable arm and positioned both vertically and horizontally – what’s not to admire about that.
And as usual for an LG product, it has crammed as much technology as it can into its compact confines. That 1080p screen supports Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, which sounds like overkill, but means that as well as for video you could potentially use it as just a speaker.
Convert the TV into its table mode and you can play games like chess on it, which is another intriguing, family-friendly idea.
There’s wireless connectivity in Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth, though my presumption is that it wouldn’t work in an outside setting – on a beach, for example. It supports LG’s webOS with access to apps such as Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, and others, but sans Wi-Fi, that effectively goes off the table, and content will have to be played off the USB port instead. It’s an area for potential confusion that the marketing materials appear to have glossed over.
And like the Jabra Elite 8 Active headphones, it’s been tested to US Military MIL-STD-810G standard for ruggedised electronics, which is one of the toughest tests for any device to go through. That means the StanbyMe Go can handle low pressure, high/low temperature, dust, and salt spray, and survive against accidental drops, shocks, and vibration. It’s unlikely you’ll find a TV tougher than this.
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The StandbyMe Go’s appearance is part of a larger trend that’s infiltrating the market and one I’ve been contemplating over the past few months – the rise of the lifestyle TV.
TVs have been massive, rather bland screens for years, but that’s been changing. It began with the rise of The Frame and Serif TVs showing this area of the market had potential and now there’s a flood of them.
TCL showcased concepts at Milan Design Week. Vestel has a wide range of concept and actual TVs in the market with its Fame and Take a Rest TVs. Hisense has lifestyle TVs, though as far as I know these aren’t coming to the UK. Samsung with its Terrace TVs and Sylvox with its waterproof TVs show that the market is increasingly looking further afield from bread and butter living room TVs.
And the market needs it, I feel. 8K doesn’t appear to be picking up momentum – if anything it’s decelerating – and this is an area that seems to engage casual (and certainly the more affluent) users who aren’t about having the latest whizz-bang audiovisual technologies in their home cinema setup. TVs will still be a big black box in the centre of a room, but they’re slowly starting to soften their edges (or bezels).
Would I spend $999 on the LG StanbyMe Go Portable Smart Touch Screen? No, but someone will, and If I see that TV somewhere on the beach, I’ll smile and laugh. It’s a TV made for the Instagram Story/Tik Tok loving crowd and seems preposterous, but that’s what makes this and other TVs interesting. People consume content in a very different way than even 10 years ago, so shouldn’t the screens we use reflect that change?
The biggest problem is the price. That’s what may keep these TVs as curiosity rather than something you willingly invite into your home.