Sometimes, technology is super practical.  Sometimes, technology is just super cool.  The Tidbyt straddles the line between those two.  It’s a super retro dot matrix color screen that runs cloud-based internet widgets.  I took it for a test in my home. 

1st Impressions / unboxing the Tidbyt

My first impression of the Tidbyt – was great.  Out of the box it feels high-end with a cool classic wood finish around the outside.  I’m a big fan of the classic wood finish combined with a high-tech LED screen.  They nailed it here.  On the back there is a reset button and a USB-C port for power.  That’s it, that’s all.  Simplicity is important with the Tidbyt. 

Check out my unboxing video below:

Setting up the Tidbyt

Setting up the device was very straight forward.  When you power up the screen you’ll see an image instructing you to load up the app on your phone.  If all goes well, the app will immediately recognize the Tidbyt via bluetooth.  From there, you feed the Tidbyt your wi-fi credentials and you’re good to go.  It’s widget time! 

Gettin’ Widgey Wit It

I was blown away at how many widgets are inside the Tidbyt app.  You have everything from practical to entertainment to stupid fun!  The NFL widget tracks the latest football scores, the Ski Report app shows you update on how many runs are open at your favorite ski resort and the Spotify widget shows the current song you’re playing on spotify.  The fun apps can display pac-man and the ghosts chasing each other, a yule log roaring for the holidays or a countdown of days until Christmas.  There are hundreds of widgets and it’s fun finding new ones!  You can browse the available apps for yourself on their website.

The screen itself is bright, colorful but also has that super cool retro pixelated look to it.  Pictures and video of the Tidbyt almost don’t do it justice.  It looks even better in person. 

Conclusion

Bottom line, this thing is SUPER cool.  Anyone who loves retro tech will love the Tidbyt.  It would be perfect on a desk at work, in the kitchen at home or to add flare to your home bar or mancave in the basement.  My only complaint is that $180 (currently down from $200) is pretty expensive for a device that will be a “splurge” for most people.  Nonetheless, it could be the perfect gift for that person who seems to have it all! I’m giving it a 4 1/2 out of 5 geeks!

4.5 out of 5 geeks

You can buy the Tidbyt directly from their website for $180 – I also found a refurbished model on their site for $130 if you don’t mind a model that have have a few blemishes. (they are factory inspected but are FINAL SALE, heads up!)