updated 03:40 am EST, Thu January 7, 2010
Sony Dash closely related to Chumby
As part of a slew of updates brought out with its CES keynote, Sony added the Dash to the mix. Expanding beyond what it mentioned at the presentation, the company views it as an upscale parallel to the Chumby. The all-touchscreen device can display news, make Facebook updates and play media but thrives the most on apps: over 1,000 Chumby apps will work and significantly extend its features beyond what's in the box.
By default, the device also comes with apps for Blip.tv, Crackle, Epicurious, Livestrong, Pandora and YouTube but can be extended later. It also touts Cozi for calendars, NAVTEQ for maps, and a range of Sony-specific apps for the electronics giant's movies and music videos as well as health. Many apps can support multitasking.
Sony expects to ship the Dash in April for $199.
We had a few moments to try the Dash after the keynote and came back with a mild but positive reaction. Again, this is a Chumby with a larger screen and a sleeker interface. While that's not necessarily a drawback as it looks to be intuitive, one has to like the idea of a do-everything tabletop display in the first place. We could see it working best as a clock radio that happens to work well with Internet material. Outside of this role, whether it's useful is likely to be much more case-specific.