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Tech Review: Chumby

bleahy
4 Comments

Posted March 3, 2008 - By bleahy

G4tv.com gets to play around with all the cool new gadgets and tell you what to think about them. Here’s the scoop on the…

Chumby
Available: Now
Price: $179.95

Make no mistake; the Chumby is a luxury purchase. It’s not something you need, but is it something you want? Does the thought of a little beanbag type thing that displays information from the internets interest you?

PROS:

  • Some Great Widgets
  • Video Support
  • Fun Desk Buddy
  • Internet Radio

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Sub-Par Touchscreen
  • Needs Wired Power
  • Problems Connecting to Apple Routers

The Chumby is basically a self-contained widget display that runs on WiFi and is linked to an account created on chumby.com. This is nice because once you grab a wireless connection it’ll get your widgets automatically. We did experience some problems getting it to connect to Apple routers, though, so be wary if that’s what you use.

Some widgets are pretty useful and display information like the weather, your Netflix queue, and more. Some fun widgets are fun and can play top videos from YouTube, LOLcats, Flickr photos, and even anime. However, at the end of the day, this is where the Chumby’s usefulness ends.

Sure, it’s an alarm clock, but do you really want to spend $180 on a clock? The touchscreen is a disappointment and doesn’t always work as intended. After using slick devices like the iPhone, the Chumby’s screen is hard to use. It isn’t that accurate and dragging on it (which is needed for several widgets) is completely unreliable.

If they manage to throw a better screen on the next version of the Chumby, it might be worth looking into, but as it stands the product just isn’t there yet.

Tech Review: Chumby
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