Back in April, IKEA made a splash when it announced plans to enter the electronics market with a new piece of furniture. Dubbed the Uppleva, the entertainment center came with an integrated television as well as a Blu-ray player and other essential gadgets for your living room. Today, the Uppleva is finally available to buy. At least, it is in some countries.
IKEA has since revealed that the Uppleva debuted at its Stockholme store on June 14, and GigaOm reports that the set will go on sale at the company’s Berlin Lichtenberg store hand a handful of stores across Europe on July 2nd. For those that missed it when it was announced a couple of months back. The Uppleva is essentially a TV stand with an integrated HDTV, Blu-ray/DVD/CD players and MP3 and iPod player (courtesy of Chinese electronics company TCL) Because everything is built into the unit, IKEA has been able to hide away the things you won't want to see, like cables, and design a very minimalist entertainment system. With several designs and configurations, the Uppleva is fully customizable and customers have the option of adding extra compartments for storage or for additional electronic equipment. The entire thing is controlled with a single remote and the TV screens are available in four sizes, ranging from 24 inches to 46 inches.
Of course, with something like this, you'll want to know how the integrated electronics perform, right? The bad news is that Swedish tech site M3 has conducted an in-depth review of the Uppleva, covering everything from the assembly of the unit itself to the picture quality on the HDTV, and the news is ... not good. According to M3 (via Gizmodo), the TV's smart features are slow, with some features not working altogether, and the interface is below par. The picture doesn't fare much better with muddy colors, poor black levels and a noisy picture. The bottom line from M3 seems to be that you can get a much better TV for the same money ($1000) -- one that you won't be embarrassed to use in front of your friends.
The Uppleva is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. in 2013. Let's hope IKEA can sort out the electronic components of this entertainment system before it arrives.