- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
The Sony Dash: Chumby Apps are not so Chummie
I wonder who thought up the Sony Dash? Why? Although it is new, just over a year old, it is a bit old. Perhaps, the engineer longed for a modern "alarm clock-radio" like those the first came out in the 60s, except one for 21st century that would connect to the Internet and do all the things you can do with a iPhone, iTouch, iPad, computer. The problem is that, that IS the problem.
When it first came out, Sony wanted $200 for it. Advertising made it seem like it was a 7" tablet with one Achilles heel, it must be plugged in, so it is not portable. I was tempted to buy it, but NOT at that price. The question that keeps repeating in most buyers mind is, why would I buy it when I have a i-something? It is that question that has now basically killed the Sony Dash, which now can be bought for a much more reasonable price of $50-65. Sony is offloading its unsold inventory.
Technically, Sony did many things right-wi-fi is trouble free and automatic, setup is a no brainer, The specs produce great sound and good clarity using two 8 ohm speakers and a WVGA 800x480 LCD screen. It can handle all MP3, and MPEG-4, WMA, AVC. The wireless can handle up to 54Mbps. The touchscreen is very responsive. You can access the Internet, create channels using 1000 chumby apps, use it for a slide show with photos from your USB, or sound files. Like I said, you can do most of the same things on a computer etc.
The user interface is fairly intuitive for most users, not much need to read the small manual for the for the most part. Then, why did it fail?
Two reasons: No need for it and chumby apps. The first reason is self-explanatory, unless you do not have a i-something, then, you might have a greater need. Making it not portable was an idiot decision because it is very like a tablet. The chumby apps are those made by the true followers. The problem with them are that many execute poorly or not at all, some seem unfinished. For instance, I downloaded the e-mail app to view POP email. Works fine but for it is an email reader only! There is no way to delete the emails. Stupid. Clearly, someone was not thinking. Other apps simply are clunky requiring patience, some buttons don't work, some do not scroll the screen. Other apps work flawlessly like Google News and many others. Most of the apps are really not that useful. One can get on facebook either via the FB app, or Internet. The FB apps only allow you to view news feeds of friends and such. The refresh rate while on the Internet is OK and videos and images load with not a long wait. When played, they shine with no delay or jerkiness. Netflix streaming works only if you have a paid account as does Huluplus. Yet, when viewed, the clarity and transfer rate are acceptable and good.
Bottom line is again, why? Do I need this just to put in the kitchen or next to my bed? Make one last check before snoozing? I do that anyway on my computer. I can use it as an alarm clock or wake up to the music. But, until the Dash, I used my iTouch for that.
Hmmm, I think you get the point. Why?