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Your kitchen-counter Wi-Fi pal
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Using your existing Wi-Fi network, the Chumby is small tabletop touch-screen device that displays Internet content of your choosing. Select from more than 1,000 widgets, including TV shows, weather, email, news, photos, sports scores and stock quotes.
Setup was as easy as registering on the Chumby website, choosing the desired content from 30 categories and then using a fingertip on the Chumby's 3.5-inch screen to find the wireless network.
We kept the leather-clad Chumby on the kitchen counter (nearby power outlet required), an ideal place to read Food Network recipes, to listen to streaming radio stations or to play a round of Sudoku. Navigating through all the content was a smooth process, though sometimes we had to press the same button on the screen twice for it to register. We also liked an unadvertised feature. Two USB ports on the back of the Chumby let you connect an iPod or USB thumbdrive full of music or audiobooks. Use your finger to select the desired track and you'll immediately hear it through its loud speakers.
The wide selection of widgets, cute form factor and no monthly fee all proves the Chumby, which retails for about $200 for the 2009 model, is more than a mere gimmick.
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Welcome to The Geek Weekly's blog, which is designed to deliver the latest in tech-related news, rumors, reviews and how-tos for your personal and business needs. You can also expect plenty of opinions, rants and tips.
I am a syndicated technology journalist and author. I've spent the last 12 years waist-deep in gadgets, gizmos, gear and games. I'm very much living the "digital lifestyle," whether I'm flashing barcodes on my BlackBerry to board a plane, backing up my laptop's data onto a USB memory watch (Ok, so I know it's geeky) or jamming with my three kids in Rock Band. Like you, I love this stuff. So come back every Monday and Wednesday for new entries.