Insignia Infocast may leave Dash in dust

Insignia officially announces its Infocast touch-screen Internet viewer, based around the Chumby Network of open-source widgets. The device competes directly with the Sony Dash.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
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.
Donald Bell

Photo of Insignia Infocast
The Insignia Infocast is the largest Chumby-based desktop device yet. Insignia

If the Sony Dash is too rich for your blood, and the Chumby One is too puny, then feast your eyes on the $169 Internet media viewer from Insignia that boasts an impressive 8-inch touch screen.

The Insignia Infocast is currently available through Best Buy's online store, and will hit shelves in the next few weeks. Like the Sony Dash, the Infocast is powered mainly by the customizable Chumby app platform, and can act as an alarm clock, Internet radio, photo frame, news reader, social-network viewer, video player, and all-around time killer.

Insignia Infocast (photos)

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Under the hood, the Insignia Infocast uses a Marvell Armada processor, 2GB of internal memory, and an 8-inch touch-screen LCD with an 800x600 resolution. The larger design also allows Insignia to cram a stereo pair of SRS-enhanced speakers into the back of the Infocast, in addition to a headphone output that leads out from the side.

There are a few features on the Infocast you can't find on the Dash or Chumby One, including two USB ports, a compact flash memory expansion slot, and a combo slot for SD, SDHC, MMC, MS, and xD memory cards. The back of the Infocast also includes a large power button, which seems silly to mention, but is actually a feature lacking in the always-on Sony Dash.

Stay tuned for a full review in the coming weeks.