Gadget Pr0n: Chumby

Posted: March 14, 2008
Gadget Pr0n: Chumby

Have you ever gone into an electronics store looking for a piece of equipment, lets say a 1080p TV set, to complement your swank bachelor pad and had the salesman try to sell you an over priced, under performing piece of crap? Who cares if he has one of them at home?

From the moment he opens his mouth you get the feeling that he's trying harder to make a sale than he is to help you. We know that sucks and that’s why we came up with Gadget Pr0n. We’re here to inform and enlighten you about all things electronic. Plus, you can trust us, because we don’t get paid based on commission.

On today's show, we'll review the Chumby.

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  • It's a bean bag Linux computer that has a basic alarm clock and wireless internet
  • You still have to plug it in; it needs to be battery powered instead
  • Two USB ports and a headphone jack
  • Where it really shines is all the internet widgets that you can download from the Chumby site
  • There's almost 1,000 widgets, both user-created and made by Chumby, that you can get for free, no monthly fees at all
  • Everything from news to weather to games to TV to presidential delegate counts
  • There are all the major sources you'd expect like the New York Times, Engadget, College Humor, eBay, ESPN, VH1; the list goes on
  • Half of this gadget is the website, and Chumby's site makes it incredibly easy to add, remove, and customize widgets
  • You can make channels and then add widgets to each channel
  • It takes a little bit for your Chumby to update from the site thru Wi-Fi, but you can also force it to do that from the Chumby itself
  • There's a hidden button underneath the bean bag on top of Chumby that lets you access the control panel
  • You can change channels as well as widgets on those channels, play music from internet streams or an iPod thru USB, rate widgets or send them to friends, and access the alarm clock
  • Other than this control panel, there is no other way to change your Chumby; it's really simple, and not open for other uses
  • It needs a web browser for sure
  • You might buy it because it’s cute and stylish
  • The touch screen is not nearly as responsive as it should be, but you can interact with most every widget unlike RSS
  • What will really make this product viable is when the community starts creating more widgets; it's all developed in Flash, so it's easy to do
  • Bottom line: create your own virtual Chumby at the Chumby site and see if all the widgets add up to the price
  • We really liked it
  • $180



Gadget Pr0n

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