Japan is one of the few places in the world that has embraced mobile TV viewing (through the 1Seg standard) in a big way. Portable, wireless sets are nothing new to the country, but Panasonic’s latest toy adds a new element to the mix. We have seen plenty of Japanese Android handsets that incorporate mobile TV, but the Panasonic SV-ME970 is one of the first instances of a portable TV coming loaded with Android. It’s Android 2.1, to be exact, and it opens up the mini TV for web surfing and video streaming.
The TV’s 7-inch, 800×480 touchscreen display gives it a distinct hybrid personality — not a full-fledged Android tablet, but rather a specialized device with enhanced functionality thanks to Google’s mobile OS. Think of it as a NOOKcolor except for TV viewing.
Like the mobile TV viewing standard, this TV will stay within Japan’s borders when it launches on July 30th for the equivalent of about $550.