I've been wanting a new PDA with much longer battery life. There isn't much out there any more. PDAs seem to be on the way out. I'm not ready for a cell phone bill yet and couldn't afford most of the Smart Phone or the iPhone.
I hoped to find something that would let me go for a week without having to tether. But anything would be better than the abismal battery life of my Axim. Don't get me wrong. I like the Axim line. The x50v had a beautiful screen and all the features I could want, but if I wanted the batteries to last more than 3 hours I had to disable them all and scale back the processor speed.
So, I needed a new PDA. In college I used all the wiz-bang features but lately it's been mostly contacts and calendar. So, I've been looking for MP3 players with Calendar functions. I could not find any that allowed Calendar entry on the device. So it looked like I was going to get a Palm z22. But it's so hard to downgrade.
I found out the iPod Touch was recently updated to allow add/edit of Calendar items. It doesn't allow 3rd Party apps but I wasn't using those much anymore anways.
So, I pooled my birthday money, christmas money and the money from selling my old pda (Dell Axim v50x) to buy an iPod Touch (8GB). It's not what I expected in many ways but more than I expected in many other ways. The UI is clean and well animated. It is also confusing some times (it's different than what were used to with Windows or OSX). I'm sold on the "my finger is my stylus" idea but it's okay. I have to press a lot harder than I did on a PDA. Keyboarding is pretty good. I'd say slightly better than keyboarding with a stylus but there are no alternate entry methods.
The multi-touch seems a little gimicy and isn't used in many places. Watching YouTube and doing iTunes on the device just suck battery power. Having WiFi was one of the reasons I was leaning toward the iPod over the Palm. The Safari browser is much better than anything I've used on the PDA (I never wanted to pay for Opera).
But so far it seems pretty good. I can actually turn the thing off at night and if I keep the WiFi off (which I have a hard time doing) the battery life seems pretty good. The jury is still out on that one though.
I quickly Jailbreaked the thing and have put a few other apps on. Most aren't really useful to me. The few games available are simple but look good. Installing new apps is really simple using the Installer.app. It looks like Apple's design philosophy has been adopted by the iPod hackers.
- Clean UI. Very few "framerate" issues.
- Much smaller than my previous PDAs
- Unexpected features: Orientation detection (several games demo this), YouTube, Safari is really good. Photo browsing works well.
- 8GB data storage
- Syncs to Outlook
- WiFi works well (Supports WPA2 even)
- Have to have iTunes to activate the iPod or you can't even use it (this should be against the law).
- Fingers get tired (especially if you scroll through a lot of photos)
- Finger keyboard is a little awkward since you can see the letter when your big fat finger is in the way.
- Can't us a standard stylus even if you wanted to. The touch screen seems to be "skin" activitated
- No Office Apps (I really like PocketExcel) or other PIM stuff (notes, todo)
- Costs a lot for only 8GB ($300). I could get the Palm z22 and 8GB in SD cards for less than $300.
- Body smudges a lot. I must have oily fingers
- Firmware Updates are 150 MB+