LG's pair of portable TVs are officially heading to the UK, with a release date set for later this month. The LG StanbyME and StanbyME Go are some of the most unique TVs we've seen in quite some time, and the oddities don't end with their extraordinary designs.
The StanbyME is designed to be wheeled around the house on its pedestal-style base, as LG describes it as a lifestyle display for many occasions. For example, you can wheel it into the kitchen to follow a recipe guide on YouTube and then back to the living room to watch a movie on it afterwards.
It runs a modified version of webOS which is the same operating system you'll find on the likes of the LG G3 and C3 OLED TVs. This means you'll find a healthy amount of streaming services on board like Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video as well as the ability to stream from your phone using screen mirroring and Apple AirPlay 2. The main difference here seems to be that it's optimised for touch controls as the StanbyME features a 27-inch 1080p touch display; although a remote is included if you'd prefer to avoid getting grubby fingerprints all over your screen.
Said display does feature HDR in the HDR10 and HLG formats which is a nice addition, and LG's AI sound from its larger, more conventional TVs is also on board. Another feature of its standard TVs is the Alpha 7 Gen4 AI processor, although considering this processor is already two years old that might not be the greatest headlining feature. It did feature on the 2021 LG B1 OLED TV and has since powered a few of LG's mid-range QNED TV models, meaning should power this fairly low-spec portable model just fine.
As well as wireless screen mirroring, you'll find one HDMI socket and a USB input, meaning you'll be able to hook up a streaming stick, PS5 or Xbox Series X if you like, although don't expect any sort of high frame rate or next-gen gaming feature support as this isn't a HDMI 2.1 port nor does the display support 120Hz.
Moving onto the StanbyME Go, we're more than acquainted with the quirky suitcase TV already after a hands-on session at IFA 2023. Interestingly, this seems to be the higher-spec model of the two, and it's got more features built in too.
Instead of the pedestal with wheels approach of the StanbyME, the Go variant folds neatly into a briefcase-style enclosure for easy portability, with a convenient spot to store the remote underneath the display. While there have been mixed feelings on this approach here on the What Hi-Fi? team, we can't deny that it's a clever design. When fully deployed, you can swivel the display and adjust the angle to best suit your viewing needs; the display can even fold flat into the suitcase for use with the various built-in games that take advantage of the 27-inch touch display.
The Go features a handful of upgrades over the regular model though, with support for Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos being the two we're most concerned with. The Go features a 20W speaker system behind a mesh cover on the top lid of the suitcase enclosure which, when opened, offers direct front-firing sound. LG highlights the Go's capability as a music system as much as a TV in this regard, with a funky user interface that mimics a suitcase record player when you stream music through the Go.
Dolby support isn't the only upgrade the Go has over the standard model, as it also features a better processor. It's using the Alpha 7 Gen 5 processor, so only one generation newer, but that's still a more modern chip nonetheless. As for connectivity, it appears to be the same as its counterpart, with one HDMI port and a USB connector.
This brings us to further similarities between the two models. First is battery life, as both units feature integrated rechargeable cells. LG quotes three hours for both models, although we expect this figure to be heavily caveated with using certain picture modes and so forth. While it's hard to quantity as there are very few other TVs like this, it certainly won't get you through the latest Scorcese or Nolan feature. Considering LG has pitched the Go as a camping companion, this does fall slightly short of expectations, as your suitcase TV could, hypothetically, be out of juice on the first night if you're not careful. It feels like less of an issue on the regular StanbyME, as that's designed to be kept in the house and therefore nearer to readily available sockets when it's in need of charging.
The second similarity is the price, as the StanbyME is priced at £1199 here in the UK, or $1000 / AU$1999 in the US and Australia respectively where it's already available. The StanbyME Go is also £1199 in the UK, despite the fact it features a better processor and Dolby picture and sound enhancements. In the US you'll find it for $1000, and while it's not available in Australia yet, we anticipate it costing $1999 if LG does decide to launch the Go Down Under. Both portable TV models will be available in the UK on the 29th of November, with retailers yet to be confirmed.
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