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Alarm clock 2.0

Hey, remember digital photo frames? They were good, weren't they? Instead of having just one picture of your girlfriend/hubby/kids on your desk, you could have many, cycling nicely through. They were always a bit expensive, and didn't always really have good enough screens, but they always seemed a bit like the future.

But why stop at photographs? Maybe sometimes you'd like to scroll through tweets, or Facebook updates, or news headlines? Enter the Chumby. This souped-up photo frame has been around for a few years, but its latest, touchscreen 8' version is by far the best.

And it does really quite a lot of stuff. You can listen to internet radio, browse updates and emails, read news and, of course, look at photos. You can put music in on an SD card or USB stick, so it's an mp3 player too, and there are 1500 other apps available for it. (No Spotify, tragically.)

So should you get one? Well, we're not 100% sure: as CNET puts it, 'The only thing the Chumby 8 is great at is being a Chumby. That is to say, it excels at being a device that does a little bit of everything, but nothing excellently.' If you're happy to have it in the corner showing cool stuff, and occasionally jab at the touchscreen to control it, it's fine. But if you're looking for something a bit more involved, it's probably no substitute for a proper tablet.

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