Now that the coveted iPhone has been released in Canada and the hype is dying down I find myself still unable to decide if I want one. Maybe decide is the wrong word, I absolutely know I want one, but I’m not sure if I want to break the bank doing so while locking into a long term agreement of 3 years with a big company I dislike. The big question is how practical the device is for me compared to other devices.
The other option I have been weighing in on is the Eee PC from Asus or one of the other emerging mini laptop or netbook solutions. This laptop is a little bit larger than a paperback and incredibly light. Although I would have no wireless 3G web experience I would have a super practical commuter computer and long term it would be a heck of a lot cheaper.
Weighing it out
I can break it down like this? The iPhone is one of the coolest devices on the market; it has an incredible wow factor. It’s also arguably the best mini mobile browsing experience you can have on a smartphone. I’ve used the iTouch many times and the Safari browser is simply fantastic considering the size of the screen and it’s very intuitive and user friendly. I can’t say the same applies for some other devices like the Blackberry, although I think I would prefer a tactile keypad. With the iPhone I’ve also got the phone (as I’ve mentioned I don’t currently own a cell phone), mp3 player and a host of apps that can keep me wired all the time—read Why am I so addicted to the web for more on that.
Enter the Eee PC, although I can’t be wired all the time, I can use the device in a more constructive way. I spend a lot of time on transit usually reading and sometimes playing my DS Lite. The one thing I would like to do more is staying up to date more on technology news. Sometimes there is not enough time in a day to view all my favourite sites and the street car ride too and from work seems like a waste of time that could be put toward this. The iPhone offers me this from anywhere, although with the Eee PC I could cache RSS feeds and read them on the way in. Not only that, but I could also prepare blog entries too. I guess I could do this with an iPhone, but I think this could be very trying indeed. The Eee PC could prove to be a bit tedious, but the keyboard is still quite usable and obviously much bigger than any smartphone out there.
Options options options
There is a third option as one of my friends suggested, “Get both”. If Canada had a reasonable iPhone plan it would really be a no brainer and maybe both would be the answer. In a perfect world I could tether my phone to the laptop and get the best of both worlds. The last option is to continue waiting for the illusive Google Android on an HTC phone, or even try out an Openmoko device; decisions decisions, I feel an impulse buy coming soon.