Sony’s pseudo-tablet, the Dash, will get a shot of streaming video when it debuts in April, thanks to Netflix.
The Dash, a 7-inch touch screen device for the home, will have a dedicated Netflix application that seems pretty simple. Just touch the Netflix button, and subscribers will be able to select movies and TV shows from their queue. Not much more to it than that, though it’s not clear whether you’ll be able to add movies to your queue without a computer.
In addition to Netflix, Sony announced that it’ll get content from eHow, Golflink and LiveStrong.com. The mostly instructional content could come in handy for housework or cooking, I suppose.
I liked the Dash when I played around with it at CES this year. It’s not quite a tablet — it’s a little thick, and must be connected to a wall outlet — but it was easy and enjoyable to use. In addition to relaying time and weather, the Dash streams Facebook status updates, Internet radio and plenty of other Web applications. The design is also pretty clever, letting you tip it back so it’s facing up on a table, still slightly inclined towards the user.
But as I said back then, Sony’s Dash could be the coolest gadget you’ll never use. The lack of a battery means it’s hopelessly tied to one section of the house, and it’s a little too thick to be portable anyway. There’s no device that quite mimics the Dash’s countertop sensibility, but it doesn’t do anything you couldn’t already accomplish with a smartphone, Web-connected media player or netbook.
The addition of Netflix will do little to change that. If anything, it goes against the Dash’s primary purpose of providing tiny doses of information and entertainment. Sitting in front of the 7-inch device to watch a movie doesn’t sound very appealing. Now, if Netflix could get onto the aforementioned smartphones and portable media players, that’d be something.