This being Apartment Therapy, it wasn't a big surprise our readers took special interest about IKEA's foray into home electronics. Their all-in-one UPPLEVA system promised to simplify putting together a decor-friendly home entertainment system into a one-stop purchase, but it seems like the most important component is a bit lacking from early reports...
A few of the important notes from Swedish tech site M3's translated hands-on review of the IKEA UPPLEVA:
The interface is pretty stripped down and clean, but it is quite difficult to manage if you want to do something other than just change the channel.
Poor translations for on-screen UI. It's a bit like they've directly transcribed text using Google Translate.
Entering information into the built-in browser is time-consuming and inconvenient, but it does not really matter because the browsing experience is disastrous.
The actual piece of furniture is nothing more than the fairly common TV stand. However, the sound system is nicely integrated as modules into the bench and it is a special bracket to secure TV.
Media support is definitely approved and you can connect a USB drive with media files either directly to the USB port on your TV...it played all the files we tested, including high definition MKV files and standard MP4 files, including the texts of the most common file formats.
The poor black level makes the contrast of the picture is pretty bad, but it is most noticeable if you black out the room and want a serious home theater evening.
This is simply not a TV for those who value image quality above price.
Ouch! An embarrassingly slow user interface and poor picture quality doesn't bode well for IKEA's first major electronics offering. And watching M3 editor, Simon Arons, try to put together the cabinet and mounting system below doesn't look all too enticing either.
Here's the real UPPLEVA being unpacked and assembled, illustrating why you might want to have someone else build it for you for an extra fee.
No surprise assembly is a time consuming affair, but from a design stand point, it is disappointment to see the HDMI cable positioning seems to have been poorly executed, as noted by Simon Arons' gesturing during the video. Let's hope IKEA works out the kinks before UPPLEVA reaches North American shores in 2013...
Images: IKEA and M3