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Chumby 8 makes case for fourth screen

The biggest incarnation of the Internet-connected Chumby touch screen has arrived, and CNET's Donald Bell gives it his full attention.

Photo of Chumby 8 being held.
The $199 Chumby 8 finds middle-ground between tablets and digital photo frames. Josh P. Miller/CNET

News and media typically find their way to your eyeballs through three types of screens: your TV, your computer, and your mobile phone. The Chumby 8 hopes to add a fourth screen to that equation.

Part tablet, part digital photo frame, and part jukebox, the Chumby 8 packs a ton of content behind an 8-inch touch screen. Unlike its forefathers (the Sony Dash, Insignia Infocast, or the original Chumby), the Chumby 8 offers a simplified new interface and a built-in Web browser.

Throwing a browser onto the Chumby 8 makes it possible to add and delete apps from the device on the fly, and, more importantly, it finally lets you click through on all those links in your Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Other killer features on the Chumby 8 include Pandora radio streaming; Photobucket media uploading via USB, SD, MMC, or Compact Flash; and a sophisticated multi-alarm clock that can wake you up with Internet radio or various alert sounds.

Is the Chumby 8 going to take any market share away from tablets and smartphones? Certainly not. In fact, the company is taking a side bet on Android by offering its Chumby software as an app. But if you're looking for an extra touch screen toy to plug into your home, the Chumby 8 offers a wide range of adaptable features to play with--certainly enough to justify its $199 price.

Read CNET's full review of the Chumby 8.

Editor's note: The Chumby 8 will be available soon as a CNET Exclusives deal. Subscribers will be updated on availability.