Stuck in the middle
The mini desktop/tablet/smart domestic remote control seems to be set for a deluge of new entrants this year, as low power processors enable computing in any number of sub-PC form factors.
Sony's contribution is called Dash. It's a seven inch screen that stands up by itself and is connected to the web via Wi-Fi (only b and g). Sony is calling it a ‘personal application viewer' due to the fact that it offers free access to over 1,000 free Internet apps made by chumby. There's also content from Sony's Bravia Internet video platform, Pandora Internet radio and a NAVTEQ app for route planning.
Sony hasn't specified who makes the processor, but its probably an ARM based one as it clocks at 500 MHz. It has a WVGA touchscreen with 800x480 resolution, gesture support and an accelerometer to automatically realign the screen.
It's still not clear where the demand is for these devices that are neither mini PCs or handheld devices. Sony expects to be launching the Dash in the US in April for around $200, so it's almost in impulse purchase territory, but for the price of two of them you can get a full-blown mini PC or a smartphone.