So Sony has decided to dive somewhat into the tablet industry but not completely. The Dash has a tablet-like appearance and many of the same functions, but it is not exactly as portable as tablets like the iPad.
The Sony Dash has a pretty basic structure. It features a seven-inch touchscreen, stereo speakers, a snooze bar/menu button, volume buttons, a USB port, a headphone jack, and of course the power connection cord. The case that encompasses the Dash is made of a rubber-like material that allows you to get a good, secure grip on the device.
The biggest problem that I see with the Dash is the fact that it does not have a battery. This means you can’t just carry the Dash around. You are constricted by the fact that it must be plugged into an outlet. Sony says that there next version of the Dash will have a battery, but that makes me wonder even more why they didn’t just put a battery in the version that is out right now. I feel that having a battery would definitely elevate it to complete tablet status.
So we’ve discussed the external side of the Dash, but what’s exactly inside of the device? The Dash has a 500MHz processor and 256MB of RAM. Having this type of power under the hood allows for video playback, but it isn’t exactly enough to be considered extremely fast. The touchscreen is responsive, but the OS seems to lag behind at times.
The Dash runs Chumby OS with a custom Linux build. Now not many people have heard of a Chumby OS. I know that I had never heard mention of it before, but it is simply a Flash runtime that features Chumby widgets that Sony calls Dash Apps. There are over 1,000 Dash Apps. Now, with the Linux side of things, Sony added the capabilities to utilize Bravia Internet Video Streaming that allows for apps from Netflix, Pandora, Slacker, Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, and a variety of other providers.
The Sony Dash is being called “an amped up alarm clock” by reviewers at engadget, and honestly in comparison with Apple’s iPad, that’s really all it is. Every action is easier to perform on the iPad, especially since the iPad has the option of using an external keyboard. Also the fact that the iPad is portable gives it a huge up on the Dash, and the iPad’s OS doesn’t lag behind. Now, it is $300 more that the Sony Dash, so that is something to definitely consider.
So it is your decision whether or not you think the Dash meets your needs. It’s only $200, and it does perform a decent amount of satisfactory actions. It’s an interesting approach to the tablet industry by Sony, but I think that they will most definitely do better with the Dash once they install battery capabilities.
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