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Lately I sometimes find myself idly shopping for a digital camera, an e-book reader, or a device that will put Google and email access in my pocket. I already have an iPod (the touchless variety) that I like because it's big enough to store my entire music/audiobook library, a cellphone that's nothing special except it has a qwerty keyboard, and a digital camera that I like because it's tiny and don't like because it doesn't have image stabilization.

It occurs to me that if I follow through on this shopping, I have a fundamental choice:
  • Carry one device that does a mediocre job of most or all of these things and has one battery and power cord and computer cable and takes up one pocket in my backpack.
  • Carry four or five devices that all do their respective functions very well and all use batteries and power cords and computer cables and backpack pockets.
It also occurs to me that people I know have solved this issue for themselves in various ways. So I'm soliciting anecdata. (Hey, it's cheaper than actually buying anything.)

Do you regularly carry portable device(s) that serve any of these functions? Why did you choose the devices you did? Are you happy with your current solution?

Digital camera
E-book reader
Cell phone
Wireless Internet
PDA
Music player

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/661734.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

treacle_well
Feb. 28th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
Reading in landscape orientation gives a column width that's not very different than on the Kindle itself. You do have to turn pages more frequently (which might be annoying for very fast readers) but I find that turning pages on the iPod Touch is more intuitive (you have more options for how it works and you can set your own options)--for me the previous page and next page buttons on the Kindle are very awkwardly placed, and not comfortable at all for one-handed reading (neither are print books). Whem I'm on the bus or train (where I do most of my not-at-home e-reading) the iPod is much easier to quickly retrieve and stow than the larger Kindle, and it's easy to use when I'm standing with one hand on on a pole and the other on my iPod. I also don't really like the Kindle's "electronic paper" (though I do like its battery life) because I find I need brighter light to read it than I do for paper books. My at-home reading is usually bedtime reading, so I'd prefer to keep the overall lighting a bit low, and with the Kindle I can't (options I've seen for clip-on lights seem awkward and slightly unpleasant in terms of light quality). With the touch, reading in low-light or dark is easy, and I actually find the screen-glow soothing.

I don't have much problem using the onscreen keyboard in landscape mode, but I don't do a lot that requires lengthy use of the keyboard, or great accuracy (e.g. if I'm making a quick temporary note for myself, I don't care about punctuation and spelling). For those cases where there isn't a landscape mode, the keyboard is definitely more difficult to use.

As touch screens go, well I had occasion recently to play with a Blackberry Storm, and the iPod screen is so much more responsive and intuitive (the Storm has more safeguards that basically require you to do more touching to ensure you've selected the right thing--since I've rarely experienced a problem with selecting the right thing first try with the iPod, I found the extra clicking required on the Storm to be annoying.)
firecat
Feb. 28th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks, that is *really* helpful.

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