Gadget Review: Why LG's StanbyME is a statement piece for a preppy aesthetic

With the StanbyME wheeled and a 27-inch smart TV, the Korean giant is aiming squarely at the lifestyle end of the electronics device market

By Anirban Bagchi

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Sun 5 May 2024, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 May 2024, 11:21 AM

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, It’s LG’s StanbyME!

That’s not to say this oddity from the Korean giant is a ‘Supergadget’ of any sort, but merely that it came up from left field. The LG StanbyME is the gadget that you didn’t know you needed; no, only the boffins at LG knew that. And now they’ve made sure that you do, too.

But what is this oddball of a device that seems to fit into no existing category? The StanbyME is a 27-inch, battery-powered, touchscreen, smart-TV on a wheeled pedestal base. The pedestal base houses the battery, whose weight acts as the ballast that stabilises the entire device, which would have been top-heavy with the screen otherwise and toppled over, as that screen rises to around four feet above the floor.

The screen itself is fixed on a swivel mount on a metal stalk that houses the cable supplying the power from the battery at the base to the TV. The swivel mount enables the screen to be rotated in various directions, giving the picture a horizontal, vertical or tilted-in-any-direction aspect, as desired. And the stalk is spring loaded, enabling around a foot-and-a-half of adjustment in the display’s height.

After a couple of weeks with it, I’m still undecided about the device’s purpose or usefulness, but it’s apparent that, more than a technological tour de force, this is a lifestyle device. As such, it needs to look the part more than perform – and it does seem to have the looks and finish department down pat.

The base, stalk and frame edges of the display are all finished in a suitably minimalist looking smooth matt white, while the back of the TV sports a faux cloth beige finish. Now this is that same beige mom aesthetic popularised by Gen Z moms who are turning their kids’ rooms, toys, furniture and even their entire wardrobes to an all-beige colour to match the aesthetic of the rest of their houses that are predominantly beige. Just take a look at this trend on Tiktok. Apparently, LG did, because that’s where they seem to have derived their design inspiration from for this device.

Now, in terms of sheer technical capabilities, this device is hardly the next level of innovation, but that does not seem to be its purpose. However, since this is, ostensibly, a tech review column, let’s dive into the specs.

If it’s an advanced monitor or TV you’re after, your Dh4,299 can be better spent elsewhere. The StanbyME only has a 1080p display with a bog-standard 60Hz refresh rate. Its side-firing two-channel speakers are adequate and both music and dialogues have sufficient clarity despite the absence of weighty bass.

At the back, it sports a single HDMI 1.4 and one USB-A 2.0 port, making wired connectivity really limited. Of course, given that you’ll use Bluetooth to connect your devices for playback, you won’t miss more ports unless you also wanted to plug in things like keyboards.

The StanbyME also has no built-in camera, but, curiously, comes with a clip-on phone grip to attach your phone to the device, enabling you to use your phone camera and mic while mirroring its screen on to the StanbyME. This allows you to use the device as the display for your smartphone, to view phone-based content or to have a large screen for your video calls that you can wheel around.

The StanbyME comes with 8GB of internal memory and you can expand this vis the USB drive, though you’ll be blocking up that single port. Shortcuts to apps are shown on the homescreen, and our test mule came with Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV and YouTube, to name a few, as well as LG’s own apps, like LG Fitness, a web browser and a few others. You can stream content to the device from your PC or phone and there is AirPlay 2 support, which makes connecting Apple products super easy.

The battery housed in the circular base is a 5,000mAh 74Wh one with a claimed three-hour use time, and we were able to watch a 2-hour movie with over 10% power remaining. While the recharging time of four hours is on the longer side, for us this is a non-issue because wherever we wheeled it to, we connected to the mains anyway.

In the final analysis, the LG StanbyME is a lifestyle device. Period. In the world of electronic devices, it stands out like a unicorn at a thoroughbred convention. For those who find comfort in being surrounded by the latest, this is like the Stanley cups that are so faddishly popular among Gen Z and Gen alpha - a statement piece for a preppy aesthetic.

But pointless and overpriced as it is, halfway through testing it out, I suddenly kind of wanted one. And that is the magic of the LG StanbyME.


LG StanbyME Portable Smart TV


- Design and looks

- Portability

More news from Lifestyle