It snuck out earlier today, but as of the Google I/O 2012 the Nexus Q is official. In essence, the Nexus Q is a small Android-powered computer that is designed to function as beautifully as it looks. It’s an interactive media streaming device for playing back music, video, and web content and is based primarily upon the principles of cloud computing. The Q is controlled by an Android phone or tablet, but content lives in the cloud. We’re not simply streaming directly from our mobile devices.
The Nexus Q features the same TI OMAP processor found in the Galaxy Nexus and sports NFC, Bluetooth, and WiFi among other standard features found in your typical Android device. Unlike your typical Android device, however, the Q boasts a 25 watt class D stereo amplifier. Outputs include HDMI, optical and banana jack audio outputs, and ethernet. A microUSB port is present for “service and support” (in other words, to make the device easily hackable).
The Nexus Q is targeted as a “social streaming device” that will allow multiple Android users to share their music and movie libraries to a single Q, which is by far the killer feature of the device. It looks to retail for $299 and is available now with shipments headed out in a few weeks.