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iPod Touch or "Internet Tablet" for the un-tech savvy?

By Justin James Contributor ·
So it's getting close to the holiday season, and I've got to pick a present for my fiance. First, some background. She really wants an iPod or similar device. She also really wants a laptop. But, like all users, what she says she wants and what will meet her needs are two different things!

In reality, she doesn't really need an iPod per se; she owns only a few CDs, she doesn't use iTunes or a similar service. I cannot imagine her with more than 20 or maybe 50 songs on the iPod (the cheapest iPod on the market would be more than enough for her).

At the same time, a laptop would be wasted money as well. She doesn't need full, portable computing power "on the go". We have a son who is about 18 months old, and she stays at home with him (I also work from home), so the device would be exposed to a playful toddler if it were to ever leave the desk. Plus, even with WiFi, laptops are a pain to lug around, power cords, etc. etc. etc. At my last job, I ditched my laptop for a $2 paper notebook to bring to meetings, because it was such a hassle. Her real desire for a laptop comes from wanting to check out MySpace and GMail without having to go to the bedroom, clear off her desk, and fire up the clunker she has.

So...

... looking at my options, I think that the best possible solutions are either an "Internet Tablet" (I think the Nokia N810 would be just right) or the iPod Touch. Both would act as a portable audio and video player, and give her access to the Internet via WiFi. The N810 is about $320, *without* additional storage (I'd have to spring for a 8 GB card too), and the iPod Touch is about $230. The N810 has a real keyboard and GPS (she might use that once or twice a year) and a Linux-based OS. The iPod Touch has the touch screen, no GPS, but the nifty accelerometer which enables some cool UIs. Neither device can print, unfortunately. The N810 has built-in speakers, I can't figure out if the iPod Touch does. The N810 has a large, higher resolution screen.

I need help folks... should I get her the N810 with is more expensive, but provides more of an "almost like a laptop" experience experience? Or the iPod Touch which looks like it would be more fun, will be less expensive, and it probably much easier to use?

I appreciate it!

J.Ja

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