Netbook or iTouch?

Joined
Sep 4, 2007
Messages
3,246
Location
Fairfax, VA
Hello all,

I want to get a small mobile device for web surfing both at home and on the road. I've been looking at the Netbooks and the iTouch. I do not need an iPhone, I am quite happy with my Crackberry and the VZW service in my area.

Prices are comparable, in the ballpark I would spend. The kids would love the iTouch with all of the games. They would use it more than me.

Questions:
Can you connect a CF card reader to the iTouch and use it for temp storage? I don't shoot enough to require a portable external HDD.
Do they make Linux Netbooks? I'm sure they do but I only see XP or Vista OS from the big vendors.

Suggestions, preferences? I appreciate all comment... :smile:
 
M

Merkin

Guest
Through good timing with bargains, I have both a first gen iTouch 16gb and an Asus EEEpc 900, running a modification of the xandros linux distro that came installed. I got my asus for 200 bucks when Circuit City was going out of business, but I think they are 250 bucks normally at other big box stores. Before I compare and contrast, I will just say that as far as I know, there is no way to connect a CF card reader to an iTouch. I use the iTouch and the netbook in different ways. The touch is something that can just stay in my pocket all the time, sort of an audiophile's dream PDA. The web browsing is better than any other handheld device I have used by far, but it is still an aggravation at times. They do have a number of useful apps designed for photographers though. I actually store very few photos and no videos on my touch, almost the entire thing is full of albums. The touch is very good for keeping a bit of a mobile portfolio on hand though. My netbook only has 4gb of ssd hd space, although newer ones are a good bit larger, so I keep a SD card in its built in sd slot for extra hd space. If you want to use CF, you will need a USB adapter, and you may need to locate a driver for it yourself. The xandros distro that came with it has a ridiculous 'linux lite' kde gui that I found horrid, so I found a clever little shell script called pimp my eee that allowed me to upgrade it to full desktop kde. switching to GNOME is a HUGE pain, so even though I much prefer GNOME, I have stuck with KDE. I just use the netbook as a web surfing, youtubeing, communication, and light typing device. The resolution on the monitor is far too poor for any serious photo editing. Youtube videos look pretty great on it, though. I basically only take the netbook with me if I am going someplace overnight or on some sort of extended trip, but it is ideal for that purpose, as it fits in my smallest camera bag and weighs practically nothing.

In the final tally, the Asus is capable of doing more than the Ipod, but it can't do as much as a more full-sized laptop, so if you are basically looking for a really small full featured laptop, look for something other than the Asus. If you understand linux (which I assume you do, since you asked about it), and don't mind spending a day or two tinkering with it, deleting silly stuff that is unnecessary, and updating this-and-that, it is a good choice. The Asus would more easily work as a place to back up files on the go, but it isn't a particularly great option for such purposes. The iPod is a bit more difficult to use due to its size limitations, but it can go absolutely anywhere and it is so small and light that you are never aware of carrying it, like you can be with a bulky cell phone. If you want something that you can just whip out and go with, the touch is a better choice. I hope this helps, if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
538
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PA
Like Merkin, I also have an iTouch...not sure I would have bought it but I won it so, the price was right. If you know of a way to connect any kind of flash memory to it, I'd be interested. I basically use the iTouch for silly little apps, web surfing and audio files. Browsing on it actually isn't too bad. I'm almost always re-certifying for some computer related something so I usually have lectures from the course on it. I have quite a few pictures on it. I carry my laptop all the time so I don't see much purpose for a mini-laptop (netbook). To me, it seems like it's in the middle of the road, not really good for much of anything....it doesn't fit in my pocket and it doesn't do enough.
 
Ahem.....

[rant]
It's an iPOD TOUCH, not an "iTouch!"
[/rant]


There, now that's out of my system, I'll address the questions. I have an iPhone, so for all intents and purposes it is quite similar to the iPod Touch. No, you cannot connect anything to the device. If you want something to which you can plug in a CF or SD card reader, you'd need a netbook or notebook.

I use my iPhone all the time as a pocketable computer in that I can check email, go online and check the Cafe and other favorite sites, etc. I also have quite a lot of my images in it so that it serves as a portable, always-with-me portfolio if I want to show someone my photos.

The advantage of the iPod Touch over a netbook. aside from the pocketability (is that a word?) is of course the wonderful App store and all the nifty games and programs you can use in the iPod Touch, as well as of course being able to have one's favorite music and videos right at one's fingertips, too.

My vote would be for the iPod Touch.
 
Joined
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Messages
538
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PA
One advantage with an iPhone over an iTouch iPod Touch ;) is that it can get internet anywhere. For an iTouch (go green..save bytes), you need wireless access to have internet access.
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Messages
1,118
Location
Vegas
I want to get a small mobile device for web surfing both at home and on the road. I've been looking at the Netbooks and the iTouch. I do not need an iPhone, I am quite happy with my Crackberry and the VZW service in my area.

OK, I have to ask...if you're happy with your crackberry, why do you need another device? :smile:

I thought I was happy with mine...but now with my iPhone I have no need for another device except for really big stuff (working on documents for work, post-processing pictures I've taken on the road...); for that I now have a MacBook Pro.
 
Joined
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Messages
6,117
Location
Upstate SC
Much like trying to wait for new lens or body releases, here is a rumor that is gaining substantial momentum as of late. Since you're already with Verizon, and the speculated release time frame is Aug/Sept, you might want to at least watch this particular rumor trend...

http://www.mobilemag.com/2009/04/28/verizon-getting-iphone-lite-apple-tablet-this-summer/

This article is a couple of months old. It has recently resurfaced, and a few of the specs have changed, but the layout photo of the device was virtually the same (though not the same image). The thing that makes the article I read intriguing is that it was there yesterday, and today it's gone. Make of that what you will. It was on everythingicafe.com's home page. They are one of the more respected and respectable iPhone forums.

Anyhow, this could certainly be an appealing option if it pans out...

By the way, the two details that may be of high value that aren't in the article - 10in diagonal screen and it's projected to be more expensive than a run-of-the-mill netbook (but no projected price - I'm sure that Verizon will get plenty of input on that since they'll likely be subsidizing the cost to a degree)...
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
2,483
Location
Missouri
I bought my wife a Dell Mini12 (they also have an even smaller one). It actually work great for her. It's not a huge machine performance wise but does great for the basic web surfing and word documents she uses it for. Even the Dell Mini12 is small enough to fit insid a decent size purse. The Mini9 would easily fit into a handbag....we just got the 12 because the keyboard was a little larger and easier to use...and the screen was easier to see.

With the upgraded battery (9 cell I believe) she can surf the web for about 6 hours or more on a single charge....plus USB ports for adding whatever we want.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2007
Messages
3,246
Location
Fairfax, VA
Ahem.....

[rant]
It's an iPOD TOUCH, not an "iTouch!"
[/rant]

My bad. I was surfing on the Apple site earlier today and got the name right.....

OK, I have to ask...if you're happy with your crackberry, why do you need another device? :smile:

I thought I was happy with mine...but now with my iPhone I have no need for another device except for really big stuff (working on documents for work, post-processing pictures I've taken on the road...); for that I now have a MacBook Pro.

Why am I happy with my Crackberry? The VZW service is better than ATT in my neighborhood and I long time Crackberry user for work. I believe I can thumb faster and more accurately on a Crackberry than I can type on a desktop QWERTY keyboard. I've tried the iPhone's touchpad many times and I can't get used to it.

I know the iPod Touch is WiFi for internet only. If I need remote www access, I can use my Crackberrys easily.

Not being able to hook-up a CF card reader for temp storage on the Touch is a minus. A big plus for the Touch is that my kids would go nuts over it because of the games. I would be lucky to get my hands on it in the evening. I'm not that big on music and the Apple earbuds don't fit me. But I like movies and various podcasts.

I think I just talked myself into a buying an iPod Touch for the family. If I convert to Verizon FIOS before 15 Aug, I can get a free netbook too.

Thanks... :smile:
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2007
Messages
3,246
Location
Fairfax, VA
Much like trying to wait for new lens or body releases, here is a rumor that is gaining substantial momentum as of late. Since you're already with Verizon, and the speculated release time frame is Aug/Sept, you might want to at least watch this particular rumor trend...

http://www.mobilemag.com/2009/04/28/verizon-getting-iphone-lite-apple-tablet-this-summer/

This article is a couple of months old. It has recently resurfaced, and a few of the specs have changed, but the layout photo of the device was virtually the same (though not the same image). The thing that makes the article I read intriguing is that it was there yesterday, and today it's gone. Make of that what you will. It was on everythingicafe.com's home page. They are one of the more respected and respectable iPhone forums.

Anyhow, this could certainly be an appealing option if it pans out...

By the way, the two details that may be of high value that aren't in the article - 10in diagonal screen and it's projected to be more expensive than a run-of-the-mill netbook (but no projected price - I'm sure that Verizon will get plenty of input on that since they'll likely be subsidizing the cost to a degree)...

I heard about an iPhone for VZW but I did not know about a tablet. I prefer VZW over ATT because of service is much more reliable in my neighborhood. A few years ago, I could stand in my front yard, call my ATT cell phone from my house land line and it would go directly to voice mail. I also have a handful of friends on VZW which for my plan is free air-time.
 
Rumors are flying all over the place about this potential Apple tablet ("iTablet"?) and they have increased within the past little while, so it's pretty clear that Apple has something new coming down the pike for us very shortly.

The iPhone eventually going to Verizon is another rumor and we won't know more about that for a while yet, but much depends upon the details and time frame of Apple's exclusive agreement with AT&T in the US. I haven't had any particular issues with AT&T (I left Sprint when the first iPhone was coming out), but I know a lot of people would be thrilled to see Verizon or other carriers handling the iPhone.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
6,117
Location
Upstate SC
Two things I hope for -
1- they will be available off Verizon's network (not leaving AT&T).
2- they can come up with a better name than "iTablet"!
 
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
1,516
Location
Georgia
One important thing to note with the Ipod Touch aka "itouch" and the iphone. If you install unauthorized applications, Apple can remove those remotely. This is true with the Iphone 100%. For the Ipod touch, i am not so certain.

i buy products that have high utility value outside of their initially marketed area. I custom firmwared my PSP and turned it into a highly useful GPS device that plays games (legally) from pretty much all the older platforms.

The Apple policy of policing thier products after selling them has put me off buying one. I would go wtih a netbook. I have an acer aspire one 10" and I love it. Great little unit. I am running the xp version at the moment as i could not get my hands on the linux version. I am waiting for ubuntu to iron out a few more netbook issues, then im jumping back.
The only problem with the acer that I have found, is that it overheats. The reviews do not state the heating problems correctly. My model is te N270, it has the 160gig drive (another problem, no SSD drives were available) and if you treat it like a normal laptop and use it for a few hours straight, it will crash. I use mine for office, internet, and the occasional movie. Movies are tough on the netbook, i do not recommend it. Surfing the net is fine, but i find that modern sites do not load well as the netbook lacks the proper power to process allt he information quickly enough.

All in all, i think the iphone is great, but not the best choice (for me) as a portable internet gateway, as I would most definately be using unauthorized applications on it.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
Messages
411
Location
Phoenix
2- they can come up with a better name than "iTablet"!

I've seen "MacBook Touch" used on some rumor sites. Makes some sense, I suppose, in line with their other product names.

Personally, I think they should call it the Woz.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2007
Messages
3,246
Location
Fairfax, VA
One important thing to note with the Ipod Touch aka "itouch" and the iphone. If you install unauthorized applications, Apple can remove those remotely. This is true with the Iphone 100%. For the Ipod touch, i am not so certain.

i buy products that have high utility value outside of their initially marketed area. I custom firmwared my PSP and turned it into a highly useful GPS device that plays games (legally) from pretty much all the older platforms.

The Apple policy of policing thier products after selling them has put me off buying one.

All in all, i think the iphone is great, but not the best choice (for me) as a portable internet gateway, as I would most definately be using unauthorized applications on it.

Thanks for the insight... For years, I worried about Microsoft & McAfee having too much personal system config info. I got fed up with the latter, the former is like the air.

Now along comes Google, FaceBook and many other websites where I have to legitimately worry about disclosing personal information.

I have not used unauthorized software for years unless you count trying to copy legally bought DVD movies onto a iPOD :wink:

I used tell my co-workers that Google is the Cyborg creature depicted in the Terminator movies. Now I'm beginning to believe it's the whole IT industry. Powering down machines every night is not enough anymore...
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
6,117
Location
Upstate SC
One important thing to note with the Ipod Touch aka "itouch" and the iphone. If you install unauthorized applications, Apple can remove those remotely. This is true with the Iphone 100%. For the Ipod touch, i am not so certain.

i buy products that have high utility value outside of their initially marketed area. I custom firmwared my PSP and turned it into a highly useful GPS device that plays games (legally) from pretty much all the older platforms.

The Apple policy of policing thier products after selling them has put me off buying one. I would go wtih a netbook. I have an acer aspire one 10" and I love it. Great little unit. I am running the xp version at the moment as i could not get my hands on the linux version. I am waiting for ubuntu to iron out a few more netbook issues, then im jumping back.
The only problem with the acer that I have found, is that it overheats. The reviews do not state the heating problems correctly. My model is te N270, it has the 160gig drive (another problem, no SSD drives were available) and if you treat it like a normal laptop and use it for a few hours straight, it will crash. I use mine for office, internet, and the occasional movie. Movies are tough on the netbook, i do not recommend it. Surfing the net is fine, but i find that modern sites do not load well as the netbook lacks the proper power to process allt he information quickly enough.

All in all, i think the iphone is great, but not the best choice (for me) as a portable internet gateway, as I would most definately be using unauthorized applications on it.

While I wouldn't dispute Apple's likely ability to do this, I've never heard of it actually happening.

If it were actively being done, jailbroken phones would constantly be getting bricked.

That said, netbooks are great and a better all around tool than an iPhone for sure!
 
Joined
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Location
Home: Columbia, MD, USA; Present: Bogota, Colombia
No way they will call it Woz. (GEEK ALERT!!!) I think the closest that anything got to that was back in 1984. The original Mac had a single chip which controlled the floppy dirve (instead of a card like other computers). The designer of the chip told me that he named the chip, officially it was the IWM, he said it stood for "Incredible Woz Machine". You see that this engineer got his start at Apple as a repair technician work on the floppy controllers for the Apple II. He eventually because the lead engineer on the Macintosh project. (end GEEK ALERT).

Enjoy your day...
 

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