Margaret Lyons
February 18, 2010 AT 06:26 PM EST

Sony announced yesterday that its Dash “personal Internet viewer” will support instant Netflix — a major ding against the upcoming iPad, which doesn’t run Silverlight. The fact that the tiny device comes with movie-playing capabilities highlights Netflix’s “goal of ubiquity,” as a company rep put it to me a few weeks ago. But is the Dash really a tablet alternative? Not if you want to take it anywhere.

The Dash, which runs Chumby’s OS, needs to be plugged in at all times. A touchscreen with Wi-fi does not a tablet make, Sony. At $199, it’s either an expensive toy or a cheapy computer, but I’m inclined to think it’s the former. Give me Chumby or give me death, etc.

Dashes aren’t going to be instantly on every countertop in every household — I’ll be shocked if I see one in the wild somewhere. But it does create a where’s-your-Netflix kind of vibe; forget DVDs or a mailing address, all you need is the Internet and a screen! And, uh, Silverlight.

Are you gearing up to watch stuff on a 7-inch screen, PopWatchers, or do you still do your movie-watching the old-fashioned way?

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