Since I originally took a look at the Sony Dash ($200) home widget station about two months ago, it’s already seen a pretty significant update that improves touchscreen sensitivity and lag – a ding amongst the early reviews. Additionally, there’s a cool, new theme (above) which allows you to quickly scroll through and launch your preferred apps. Unfortunately, Sony’s multimedia Bravia apps are still somewhat isolated from the Chumby apps – unless it’s simply a case of user error on my part. Either way, I’d really like to access Slacker from this screen.
Also, since Dash launched a new competitor has arrived… Best Buy released a similar product under their Insignia brand. However, given some experiences with prior Insignia products (HD Radio, connected GPS), I wouldn’t necessarily count on regular updates and early product abandonment isn’t out of the question. Whereas Sony seems pretty committed — they’re running television commercials and have already clued me in to upcoming enhancements (Shoutcast, lifting regional/IP restrictions).
Lastly, I’ve had a few inquiries regarding the possibility of charging an iPhone via this next generation Internet-connected clock radio. And I’ve verified the answer is YES. There’s a USB jack behind a side cover that can be used with an iPhone sync cable for charging. It’s a little messy for my liking, but it gets the job done. So I’d suggest removing the Dash’s flap and getting a back cable if you plan to go down this path.
Click to enlarge: