CES: Chumby 8 hands-on

The Chumby hardware makes a comeback, besting the Sony Dash with an 8-inch screen and full Web browser.

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Oh, how I've missed you, Chumby. I remember back when you were just a wee little beanbag. I remember your awkward phase as the Chumby One. Then your identity crisis when you morphed into the Sony Dash and the Insignia Infocast. Now, you're all grown up and hanging out at CES with a friggin' 8-inch screen. The time just flies by, doesn't it?

All reminiscing aside, the Chumby 8 looks to be the company's reclaiming of its hardware roots. It's rocking all the same widgets and functions as the original Chumby (news feeds, alarm clock, games, photo frame, Internet radio, weather, etc.), only now it's using a faster processor, a bigger screen, and ports for compact flash, SDHC, two USB host ports, and a headphone output.

More importantly, now that the Chumby has graduated to a larger screen, the powers that be have blessed it with a full Web browser. Having the browser means that you no longer need to configure and manage your apps on a separate computer, and Web links within apps (such as Twitter and news readers) can now bounce you over into the browser.

No pricing or release date just yet, but if previous efforts are any indication, the Chumby 8 will sell direct online.

About the author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.

 

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