Sony Dash – great concept, poor execution

Sony announced the Dash yesterday. They're calling it an internet appliance, and it's a$199 7" tablet with Wifi & touchscreen that is based on the Chumby platform. I really like the idea; I just wish they had executed it better.

Sony adopted Chumby as the OS, and that's good. I've wanted to get a Chumby for some time now and I didn't because the screen was too small. I don't think 3.5" is big enough to be useful. But the Dash has a 7" screen, which is just the right size. IMO, 7" is the sweet spot between to-small-to-use and so-big-it's awkward.

Let me tell you where Sony dropped the ball: content. If you're going to make a device, you should make sure that there is content for it. The Dash can use Chumby widgets, and Sony boast of the 1,500 widgets available.  This is true, but it sidesteps the fact that there are critical widgets missing.

If I bought a Dash, I'd want to be able to do all of my light web browsing on it: email, RSS feeds, blogs, and forums. I can't do any of those activities because the widgets don't exist. Actually, there is an email viewer, but you can't respond to the emails. Until the Dash gets widgets that allow it to perform basic internet activities, I can't see a reason to buy one.

product page

press release

P.S. Note that I didn't complain about the lack of an ebook reader. I want one, but most don't.

About Nate Hoffelder (11477 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on Sony Dash – great concept, poor execution

  1. I’m with you, I got excited when I first saw it but if you can’t even reply to emails or submit Tweets and Facebook comments — they missed the ball on this one. Why would I pay $200 for this viewer? Why would anyone?

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