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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.


... 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!


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All Answers

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Your on very dangerous ground here Justin

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to iPod Touch or "Internet T ...

But by your description I would go with the I Pod Touch. If she's not savvy enough to RTM it will suit her needs while she plays with it till the novelty wears off at least.

After that you will need to use the unit as it will lie around and the battery will go off long before it gets used again.

Maybe one of those 3G Cell Phones with MP3 Player Internet connectivity and Camera is all that is required here. It's more likely to actually get used for something even if it sends you broke in phone calls.


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Mmm, good points

Yeah, my #1 fear is giving her something that costs money 99 cents at a time and is hooked directly to a bank account. That's like sticking a vacuum hose into my my wallet. The convenience of using the iPod to directly purchase music is a lot of the appeal, but it is the danger too. On the other hand, the N810 is certainly safer, but definitely more likely to be played with for a little while and discarded.

I thought about the phone, but I dropped around $300 on a LG Venus for her (we're on a Verizon plan... great service, lousy phone selection). She was occassionally buying songs through their VCAST service, but we just stopped that. Apparently, to have VCAST on, costs $15 a MONTH. And without it, you pay $1.99/MB to download, which includes just browsing around. This was a real shock to me, and when she said "yes" to it on the phone ages ago, it never mentioned a charge. And I didn't notice it on the bill until this weekend, because the bills were so high anyways (I was blowing out a 2100 minute plan nearly every month, using it for business).

So yeah, going the smartphone route is not a good option, since it would involve not only dumping the $300 investment I just made in her phone, but moving to a data plan which will extract a ton of money from my budget each month. That's why I like the WiFi on the N810 and the iPod Touch.

Good idea though!


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Worst mistake I've made this year

Deciding to purchase the iPod Touch was the absolutely worst mistake I've made this year. I have lost well over 2 hours of my life wrestling with Apple just trying to get this thing properly ordered. All because I wanted to use a gift card and split the credit end between a pre-paid debit card (that's how Lowe's gives "free delivery" on appliances) and my personal debit card. Now, I am stuck with a fairly useless pre-paid debit card because Apple has run multiple authorizations against it, my personal debit card has nearly $300 in holds on it too, and my order is still not official. Each time I call, they tell me that they are going to immediately cancel all of the holds and then re-try the authorizations, but they don't. All they do is keep hammering these cards.

Apple has until tomorrow to get their act together. If they can't figure out how to place an order properly by then, I am cancelling the order, selling the Apple gift card on eBay, and finding an entirely different gift for my fiancee. I bought a car from a dealership with less hassle. This is rediculous. Apple's CSRs are friendly, but the system they use is horrible.


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Might not be Apples fault here Justin

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Worst mistake I've made t ...

I understand that some banks who have had to tighten their belts in the current economic climate are actually hitting Users Accounts twice for the same item and then still not getting the transaction through.

Several of the banks here are experiencing this problem and don't have a solution as it is continuing. Perhaps this is the only way left to find the necessary money for the CEO's Hourly Pay Check.

Real nuisance though no matter who is responsible and I'm betting it will take weeks to sort out the Credit/Debit Card Fiasco as it's not one of the Banks Immediate Transactions here. They will fix their Account Holders Accounts first then start looking at the Credit Card side of things as that isn't their business it belongs to another company so the banks can quite rightly say it's not their problem it's the fault of the Card Company.

I'm currently waiting for one to be refunded the grand total of $75.00 only been 8 months now and I'm still waiting.

Trying to get an answer out of the Bank and the Card Company is like dealing with Bureaucrats only stops hurting when you give up in disgust and walk away ignoring your losses. Perhaps I'll hammer the CEO's of the Credit Card Company with several large transactions as a test to see just how fast they fix that one up. I did this with the head of one banks Security Department when they insisted that their system couldn't be broken I just picked up the phone and ordered a 6K Sound System on the Security Managers Credit Card in front of him. He insisted that it wouldn't be approved so I asked where did he want it delivered? Worked like a charm too they instigated the changes very quickly.

Seems that as I work Bank Security I just may have the access to do it too. :^0


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Sadly, it is Apple's fault

No, this one is Apple's fault. Apparently, when I tried to place the order online, I didn't get very far, but the very act of providing the CC number performed the authorization, which is a big no-no. So when I called the order in, the card had already been authorized and didn't have available funds for the phone order. to compound my frustration with them, I have called two days in a row, they keep promising that they will release the holds, but they don't. The second time I called, I told them that they needed to escalate it with their bank department, but they refused to.

It's just a great example of how adherance to the process and a CSR script can make things miserable.


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And I bet you thought that Computer Logic wasn't a good thing

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Sadly, it is Apple's faul ...

Banking or any form of Money Taking is even worse than Computer Logic Isn't it?


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Bump Anyone able to help Justin out here? <NT>

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to iPod Touch or "Internet T ...
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Well we have a Tablet

by LarryD4 In reply to iPod Touch or "Internet T ...

Next to the couch, under the end table, on top of some books is our Motion Computer 1300 Tablet PC. We love the thing, it is primarily their for browsing the web while watching TV. It travels with us and is our link to the internet when out of the house.

My wife has made it clear she wants an IPod/Touch. The tablet is to big to just carry around.

Go with the iTouch it does the job well.

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by Justin James Contributor In reply to Well we have a Tablet

Yeah, I like the Tablet PC form factor for myself, but I agree that it is way too large for her usage. The "Internet Tablets" like the N810 are a different story, they are roughly the same size of a UMPC or a bit smaller. So it's not as much of a size issue, but overall, the iPod Touch does seem like a more convenient choice.


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