What’s More Practical, a Netbook or an iPod touch?

Do I really need a netbookI mean, I’ve got an iPod touch – and am I pleased with it!

iPod touchLet’s just take for granted that the iPod is a great media player for it’s size. I just recently ripped some Firefly episodes that I had on DVD to iTunes and added them to my iPod (thank you, HandBrake). I also purchased and downloaded Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog from the iTunes website. All of the synching I need to do is handled seamlessly, including gathering information on the iPod and synching with my Pismo laptop.

What turns the iPod into an alternative to a netbook is the applications available. The applications are also what really turn the iPod into a Newton replacement. Thanks to the Newton user community, there are a lot of applications still available for the Newton, which allows the old PDA to still perform useful tasks. The iPod touch has all sorts of very useful applications bundled into the tiny computer that make me wonder how I survived without it.

Like most of my generation, getting old requires you to pay attention to some things that you used to blissfully ignore. In my case, I have to monitor my blood pressure (I take a medication for this) and my blood sugar (which I do not take a medication for). I use BP Buddy and Blood Sugar Diabetes Control to gather data, draw graphs, and possibly email the results to my doctor. I also use Lose It! to record weight loss and count calories.

I suppose a piece of paper and a pencil could accomplish the same thing, but then it won’t draw cute graphs and email results to the doctor. The other positive is that the ease of use makes it hard for you to put off keeping track of your medical issues.

Netbook Advantages

HP MiniNote 2133 netbookWhere does the tiny netbook have advantages over the even tinier iPod? Screen size and keyboard. You could also claim that the netbooks pack a full size browser, and you’d be right.

But let’s do the comparison: Are you really going to drag that netbook around with you everywhere? The examples I have seen so far are still big enough to require a case to carry around. So even if the netbook is not as big as your laptop, you still have to walk around with a “man purse”.

iPhone/iPod touch Advantages

In contrast, the iPod touch and iPhone fit in your pocket. Which device are you more likely to take with you? Which device is the easier to use to check your email? Which device offers more entertainment options?

Lots of folks have been taking Apple to task for not producing a netbook but failing to notice that Cupertino has successfully put a computer into a digital music player. Maybe netbooks are a valid market, but Apple still provides a computer in a small package unlike any other on the market.

I don’t think we should second guess Apple on what market they feel is more profitable.

Meanwhile, I’m going back to listen to The Chieftains on my iPod.

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