Topic: Chumby Complaints
I've been watching and waiting for the Chumby since I saw it in Popular Mechanics. But honestly, I feel like it has been a big disappointment.
Here are my complaints in the order of what I find most annoying first.
- Touchscreen. Did you even test this before deciding to use it? It is so unresponsive. I have to press harder than I'd like on an LCD screen. It has to be the worst touch screen I've used in the last decade. It is so bad that I feel like all the apps should be designed not to depend on it. Did you put cushions on the back of the Chumby because people were throwing it against the wall because of the touchscreen? But on the bright side it puts off enough heat to double as a small space heater!
- Commercials. I did not pay $180 to see commercials on my Chumby. I wouldn't mind the advertising on the web page, not on my device. I feel like you should be paying me to see any of these advertisements. Either drop the price of the device, or get rid of the advertising.
- Alarm Clock. I bought this sucker to be an internet radio streaming alarm clock. Thats the ONLY reason I bought it. Instead I have a $180 device that is less functional in that area than a $15 alarm clock. Can't we at least get a weekend mode. This area has SO much potential but this was such a huge disappointment.
- Dependency on Chumby.com to manage widgets. Why can't we download them and log onto our Chumby instead of going through the web page?
- Boot up time. I timed it yesterday and it was like 54 seconds from pressing the power button to the first widget. This just seems excessive for a device which knows most of its hardware. It should at least be faster than desktops...right?
- Widget Management. Channels and a strict duration seems so primitive. Can't we have channels based off the time of the day, a playlist, or more probabilistic approach to widget managements. Different channels based off the time of the day? Have it NOT switch to another widget for a set amount of time after I've clicked on a widget. How about the ability to rotate through the widgets quickly with the accelerometer instead of the going through the menu? (Yeah I know you wouldn't have the accelerometer for the widgets but sometimes I want to know the weather and don't want to have to wait 5 minutes to show up).
- No Sleep Mode. I want a hackable alarm clock, can we have it turn off the power at some set time each night/day so it isn't sucking power for no reason?
- Video Sync Issues. A lot of the videos/advertisements get out of sync in audio/video.
Now, I know I'm an early adopter and I expected some of these issues and I realize most of these issues have been noted before and most can be resolved with software fixes. But the cumulative effect of all of them makes this Chumby feels like a slow overhyped Microsoft product where I was foolish to pay money to be a prototype tester and it didn't have any of the features that were promised. I haven't been excited to use the device, and I do not have a warm fuzzy feeling for it.
Based off my conversations in #chumby, I know these sentiments aren't just shared by myself. Sure the device can do a lot of things, but I only want it to do a few things better than a PC can.
What I would like Chumby to do is fix the touch screen and offer current early adopters a fix, and release more software fixes more often.