Sell me a useless gadget.
March 14, 2009 9:25 PM   Subscribe

I am ''technolusting'' over two things at the moment. One being an Asus EEE PC and the other being an iPod Touch. Unfortunately, I cannot get both. You must help me decide, great denizens of AskMe.

So. I want to ask this question in a creative manner. I have a certain set of criteria in mind, but let's pretend I am a completely ignorant person. [[Pretend?]]

Pretend you work in an electronics store. Whichever one [iPod Touch or EEE PC] you think I should buy, SELL IT TO ME. Pretend you're getting a hefty commission off of selling either the iPod Touch or Asus EEE PC to me. If you have personal experience with either, or both, please include that. List the pros and cons of both. Create election-worthy smear campaigns against each other.

Please, help me decide!

(I hope this doesn't count as "chatfilter".)
posted by Pleadthefifth to Technology (41 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You should get an G1 Android phone, since I just got one and I like it. Of those two things I'd get an EEE PC because it's a real computer and you can do whatever you want with it, rather then being a locked-down toy like a gameboy.

But it would help to know what you actually want to do with these things. I mean, just surf the web or play games or what?
posted by delmoi at 9:37 PM on March 14, 2009

I'm not sure how you plan to use this purchase and that's a critical turning point, at least in my mind. The EEE PC (in which I have no experience) is useful as a portable e-mail/web browsing/note taking basic computer. The iPod Touch (which I have experienced as both a Touch and an iPhone) does mobile e-mail pretty dang well--I use it with an Exchange ActiveSync account--mobile web browsing pretty dang well, especially with wifi and is a really good music player. It does not, however, take notes, crunch spreadsheets, watch Flash videos while bored in class or run SSH to your development server (well, it CAN, but typing is a PAIN).

So, if you want a VERY portable computer with which to do computer-ish things, but on a lesser scale than a bigger laptop or a desktop, get the Eee.

If you want a really good music player that also runs clever apps designed for that format, has a good mobile e-mail client and occasionally surf, get the iPod Touch.

Sorry it's not that creative.
posted by fireoyster at 9:40 PM on March 14, 2009

"...and mobile web browsing..."
posted by fireoyster at 9:41 PM on March 14, 2009

A friend of mine has an Asus EEE and it's like a tiny laptop with almost no restrictions. Contrast that with the iPod Touch, which isn't like that at all. A complete lack of tactile feedback? What's up with that, Steve Jobs? You can't even connect your Model M keyboard. How'd this thing even get out of R&D, anyway?

The Android phone is indeed a fine piece of gear, delmoi.
posted by empyrean at 9:53 PM on March 14, 2009

On reading the other replies, I agree it boils down to what your needs are. And which one costs more, because I want that commission.
posted by empyrean at 9:54 PM on March 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you want something that will fit in your pocket, you pretty much have to go with the iPod.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:16 PM on March 14, 2009

Create election-worthy smear campaigns against each other.
(I hope this doesn't count as "chatfilter".)

Fail. Get over your technolust, and try to figure out what you want to accomplish. Work through your wants and needs, and then choose the device that best meets them.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:34 PM on March 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think b1tr0t really has the best advice: "figure out what you want to accomplish. Work through your wants and needs, and then choose the device that best meets them."

These devices are both so different. The Eee really is a laptop - just tiny and without a CD/DVD drive. The Touch is an iPod on steroids and then some. Can the Eee play music? Of course. Just load iTunes on it... but it's not as slick as an actual iPod. Can the Touch do email, notes and web? Certainly... but it's not as easy to do those things as it is on a laptop.

I'd buy the Eee... but that's 100% based on *MY needs. What are yours?
posted by 2oh1 at 10:55 PM on March 14, 2009

I hate selling things, but keep in mind that Apple is Microsoft + taste; they still boil down to a corporation shooting to control the world with closed-source software. With the EEE, you'll be doing your part to open up the world - and this guy will forever smile on you.
posted by koeselitz at 11:01 PM on March 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

iPod Touch:
  • Better scrolling, resizing
  • Use it way more for surfing than I ever did my eeePC (sitting in a cupboard somewhere)
  • Not so hot for typing a lot (e.g. comments/questions on Metafilter, or filling out forms)
  • Terrible offline support (think bus or train) but that's not a factor for me since I have amazing wifi at home and work area, and walk between.
  • Podcasts are a killer app.
  • Apple Store Apps are killer apps.

posted by furtive at 11:02 PM on March 14, 2009

I had an Eee 701 (the 7" one). I found it good, but still a little too small. Then Acer came out with the AspireOne. I now have one of these instead. Much better unit.

I know that Asus has pumped out a ton of Eees in the 9" and 10" form factor since the 7" 701 I had was released, but just on price/value comparison, I would still get the AspireOne over an Eee. Mine was $400 CDN with a gig of RAM and a 120GB hard drive with a 6 cell battery that gives me about 4-5 hours of continuous runtime. Very nice.

I would certainly get this again over the iPod Touch, since it is a little laptop and can do so much more. I've taken it travelling, it's so small and lightweight you don't even notice it, and the battery life is great, as I mentioned.
posted by barc0001 at 11:26 PM on March 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

The touch is alright, but basically a loss leader to persuade o to spring for an iPhone (something I've not regreted). For surfing and email it's about as good as you could possibly expect for something of it's size without a keyboard, but still limited by the small display and having to use a (admittedly very good) tiny onscreen keyboard that obscures a good chunk of the display area. So I guess the question is: How much typing do you intend to do?
posted by Artw at 11:38 PM on March 14, 2009

so easy. the EEE will be so much more useful! the thing is that the ipod touch looks cool and fun to play with, but after you get over the whole touch thing and you are using it for what it is used for.... you might as well be using a $50 mp3 player that you can get elsewhere.

mp3 players are dirt cheap now. just get an off-brand player that will get the job done.

now the EEE PC... that is cool. you will take it everywhere. you will get wireless internet and use it all over the place. you'll stow it into a little backpack and forget about it. then you'll pull it out and write notes on it, and people will ask you about it. everyone has seen the iphone and the ipod touch. nobody will freak out when they see it.

but people gawk over my netbook whenever i pull it out. plus, it's a full functioning computer, so it's uses are endless and i know that i am not going to get over the geek factor in a month and then wish i'd bought something with the same functionality for a cheaper price.
posted by brenton at 12:25 AM on March 15, 2009

I've got an eee PC (you mean the PC not the laptop do you? ) and it's the best PC I've ever had. However the keyboard that came with it was RUBBISH and I had to swap it out for a useable one - and apparently the laptop (if you mean the laptop not the PC) has similar, so that's worth bearing in mind.
posted by LyzzyBee at 12:26 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sales pitch eh?

Well I don't own either one but I've used both - I've played with several netbooks including the eee pc 701/900/901/1000HA MSI wind etc, and I've played with a friend's ipod touch.

Basically, for immediate access to the internet, the touch is your friend. A netbook has to wake up, load too many processes, connect to wifi, then you can start to do what you wanted - the touch does this faster and with the insomnia app it will hold the wifi connection even while in your pocket. Makes a major difference when looking stuff up or just surfing.

However, if you want to do anything beyond surfing/music, the eee pc is worth your consideration. The above posters are correct; you are not going to post a metafilter reply from the touch (at least not a normal one); but you might from a eee pc. The eee pc can run normal programs, like skype, word, powerpoint, and has usb ports to print things or get files from flash drives. It also can do more advanced things, like run Google Earth, let you use flash websites, tag and organize photos in flickr, download images straight from a digital camera, etc.

The digital camera thing can be useful at parties; if you run out of space on your card just plug it in and download all the photos/videos off and start shooting again. I use a 12" tablet for the same thing - I got it because I needed more features than a handheld offered.

The eee pc though will have shorter battery life than the touch - you can use a touch on and off for a day; eee pc might keep up depending on the model/battery/power settings. In addition even if the eee pc runs Linux it's still a full computer - you will have to do some maintenance on it at some point (especially if it runs windows).

The touch is a one handed device - barely - but it can be used with one hand. Eee pc isn't. If you are outside or moving around the touch is way easier to use. I'd also wager on the touch to survive a fall over any eee pc.

My friend with the touch commented that he never uses his computer to check his email anymore, the touch is just so much easier. For reference he has a lenovo X61 laptop, which is about as close to a eee pc as you can get in size with a full core2 cpu.

My recommendation? The touch - the average person will get more use out of it around the house. However if you think you have a need for the features beyond the touch, seriously consider the eee pc. There are massive disadvantages to dealing with a full fledged computer - and all the little issues attached - in real time situations but the flexibility and power can be worth it. It really depends on your needs.

Final tip: pick one and buy from Costco - you can return either one in 90 days with no issue if you want to try the other one.
posted by rmathew1 at 12:36 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Well, you're talking about two completely different devices here. The Touch is an iPod on steroids (or a crippled iPhone, if you like), whereas the Eee is a laptop. The Touch is good for portability, music listening (Except for the no-tactile-feedback thing. This is a pain! On my old iPod I could navigate without taking the damn thing out of my pocket.), and occasional e-mail checking and web surfing*. The Eee is a computer - albeit a small one - and can do all of the above and much more, but loses a lot of the portability. Plus you can't really use it as an MP3 player, unless you want to look like a dork.

So, my final recommendation would depend on what it is you already own. Got a laptop? Get the Touch. No laptop? Get the Eee. Ultimately though, you first need to decide what it is you need.

*Web surfing on the Touch is doable, but can be a pain. I've had to do it when I've forgotten my laptop and it's not what I'd call pleasant. Don't get me wrong - it's head and shoulders above any other similar device (phone?) on the market - but doesn't come close to surfing on a real computer.
posted by wsp at 12:41 AM on March 15, 2009

One last thing - I heard about a guy who went to his dad's house for dinner, and while there his dad talked about a grill he saw at target. Guy is a tech writer, but since this wasn't business had not taken his eee pc with him. He took out his iPhone and in five minutes purchased the grill from the target website.

The guy used a iphone instead of the ipod touch, but you get the picture; you can use the ipod touch to do 80-90% of online stuff without having to carry a bag w. netbook around everywhere. Again, unless you really need more than the touch does easily, get the touch
posted by rmathew1 at 12:42 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have an EEE PC 901 (laptop). It's very sweet, very portable, and the battery lasts absolutely forever. I used to have a PDA, but PDAs are basically rubbish. They're too big to be easily comfortable to use as a phone or keep in your pocket, and the lack of keyboard and small screen makes them crap for browsing. The 9" EEE PC keyboard is a little small - I wouldn't want to use it all day for heavy typing - but for tapping about for websites, ssh, email, it's absolutely fine. It's a proper, small laptop. You know what I use mine most for? Balancing it in one hand while up next to a networking cabinet, setting up switches via serial cable, tapping with the other hand for 10 minutes. Try doing *that* with your 15" laptop or Mr Pretty itouch. I've also used it with my camera, quickly dumping off my memory card, picking out the best ones, and showing them off on the spot.

The itouch I don't own. A couple of mac obsessed friends do. It's great for the first 5 minutes, then you realise the limitations. No keyboard, no physical touch feedback. The App store is very, very closed. Want to load your own apps? Tough, can't. Aforementioned small screen means squinty time for websites. Oh, and the standards support for wifi is woeful. the 802.1x support for proper wifi security is very limited. Yeah, it'll work in coffee shops and home access points, but that's about it. It's a glorified music player with a pretty interface and a couple of extra nobs.

I'd go for the mini laptop, it's not as portable, but it has so many other uses. I do like the EEE PCs, there's certain a wide range to choose from - the touchpad on the aspire one has a bit of a crap reputation. That said, the new hotness in netbooks is the samsung NC10.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:48 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have an EEE 900

Don't get an EEE PC, get an MSI Wind.

The keys on the keyboard are tiny on the EEE, very tiny. On the Wind, they are nearly the same size as a regular keyboard, makes it a LOT easier to work on.
posted by PowerCat at 1:15 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'll nth that it depends on what you need to use it for.

I recently needed to replace a failing iPod, and was deciding between a touch and an iPhone... I went into the apple store and found the best looking salesgirl (that was just an extra bonus) and said, here's what I need to do, here's what I don't need to do, here are my concerns about functionality, show me everything on both.

I spent an hour with her, got all of my questions answered with hands-on demos I could see (that was the best part)... I ended up with an iTouch ( I didn't need another low end digital camera, and I didn't need ATT's expensive phone plan).

go to the store!
posted by HuronBob at 5:05 AM on March 15, 2009

I love my iPod Touch. I generally use it getting to work and back - generally watching TV Shows or listening to podcasts (TED talks, the amazing content universities have on iTunes, or just the amazing This American Life for WBEZ Chicago).

I also watch movies on it during flights or long journeys.

I also use it while playing board games with my friends - using the DiceX application is really fun.

I also use it to surf the web when I get some wi-fi (for example when I go out with friends to play pool - and I lose :P ).

With Stanza you can also use it as an eBook reader, or if you're a tourist somewhere you can just email yourself some maps, train timetables, key phrases in that language and whatnot to help you get the most out of your trip.

Frankly, I don't see where I can fit a mini-laptop in my life. But the iPod Touch is pocket-sized, so you can carry it anywhere. Mine has proven to me to be a great investment that I use everyday to enrich my knowledge.
posted by Masi at 6:13 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Great advice here already. I just wanted to chime in and agree with those who have said that you should consider other brands of netbook. I paid $450 around October for a Sylvania G Meso--there are now much better netbooks for much, much cheaper. Compare prices and features and you're sure to find something that hits your sweet spot, whatever that may be. I don't have another laptop and I have to say that I don't regret my netbook purchase for a second. It's incredibly useful, and fits in my backpack or purse as easily as a book does. I also use it to watch movies and listen to music, since mine has an 80gb hard drive.

And it's cute; despite the fact that it's not a Mac product, it gets tons of attention. People ooh and aah over it every time I bring it out to do work.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:58 AM on March 15, 2009

I'd pick the eee PC. I have one and it's very useful. You can take it anywhere. The only thing is the keyboard is painfully small, even for my small fingers. I have to carry a USB keyboard with it. No huge deal.

I have an 8GB Ipod Nano, which is considerably cheaper than the Touch iirc, and it works great. So unless there's a feature of the Touch you're just dying to have, you might consider just getting a cheaper ipod. Then you could have both.
posted by Nattie at 7:02 AM on March 15, 2009

I have read that the Lenovo s10 has a much better keyboard than the Asus. Other than that, I would pay attention to the accounts from people who have actually used both. One question to consider is whether you can put enough interesting stuff on the Touch to make it useful when you are away from a wifi hot spot.

My sense, from my own laptop use and my son's Ipod Touch is that the Touch will go with you *everywhere* because of the size, and the Asus will not. You probably have a real computer at work and home, so unless you need a real keyboard away from home, go for the touch. You can always jailbreak it if you don't want the sweet, fickle embrace of DRM on your unit.

If you really need to be "typing-productive" (as opposed to reading-productive) while on the move, then get a netbook with a great keyboard.
posted by mecran01 at 7:26 AM on March 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

Nokia N800/N810?
posted by notyou at 8:52 AM on March 15, 2009

I have a touch and an eee pc. I use the eee to take notes at the dozens of meetings I attend. it is much less rude or distancing in a meeting than a fullsize laptop. I use the touch as a handy internet tablet, especially when travelling. If I didn't have a nano as well I'd use the touch for music I suppose. The touch is especially effective as a navigation aid in places suffused with wifi.
posted by By The Grace of God at 10:54 AM on March 15, 2009

I have an iPod touch and I love it - it has some decent games, and is great for taking brief notes on occasion (typing is a bit of a pain, but OK for a few words here and there), carrying around reference files (address book, calendars, ebooks, pdfs, spreadsheets, office documents and the like), minor editing of said documents, watching Youtube videos while bored in class, and syncing notes and to do items to my real computer. Also, it is an iPod so I can carry it around in my pocket and listen to music, audiobooks and podcasts and the battery lasts a few days at a time as long as I'm not playing too many games.
I rarely have a moment in my life where I wish I had a miniature laptop with me, and if I owned one I would be very unlikely to lug it around just on the offchance. The iPod is really quite useful, especially because I always have it with me.
posted by nowonmai at 11:18 AM on March 15, 2009

If your goal is simply technolust, then get the iPod touch. The eeePC is just a tiny old desktop computer. The iPod Touch is Star Trek, man, and it fits in pretty much any pocket you are likely to have.

If there is actually more to your interest in these devices than just technolust, well, you need to figure out what it is.

There are some people who find that the eeePC suits them best. I have a friend who is lusting for an iPhone or a G1, but he got a netbook first, and now he hardly uses his larger notebook computer and he's not in a huge hurry to drop for a fancy phone. Blogger David Weiner has been through a variety of mobile gadgets, including blackberies and the iPhone said a few months ago that he found his netbook + 3G wireless modem to be much more useful than his iPhone.

Similarly, a lot of people are finding they don't need their laptops as much when they travel now that they have iPhones.

Of course, the iTouch isn't the iPhone...

The iPhone pretty much always has a data connection whether you are within range of WiFi or not. For me, at least, this is where a great deal of its value comes from. The iTouch requires WiFi.

I'd argue that the eeePC is more generally useful without a data connection than the iTouch is. In addition, if you have an eeePC, you have options for wireless data that you really don't have with the iTouch. You can add a USB 3G modem, or you can tether via a cellphone via either bluetooth or USB. In theory, you should be able to use an iTouch with a cell phone or 3G modem over USB, but Apple doesn't provide that functionality and I wouldn't really expect them to.

And, as has been noted, the eeePC is generally going to have more content creation utility than an iTouch.

Writing on the virtual keyboard isn't as difficult as some here have made it out to be. I've answered lots of AskMeFi questions from my iPhone. Granted, a lot of those have been on the bus, when a laptop wasn't practical or convenient, but once I'd had the iPhone for a month or so, I noticed I was still using it for stuff at home (where I have WiFi) that my laptop would have seemed better suited for. It find that is still the case. I don't think I'd behave quite the same way with a netbook.

One added data point. My brother had a Nokia N800 which he used a lot for browsing the web at home. Then he got a good price on a Palm Pre, which he used some as a smart phone, but more often, he'd tether his N800 to it when he was away from home. Since then, he got a iPod touch. Last I checked, he was using the iTouch more than any of the other devices, mostly as an iPod, but also for casual web browsing, email, etc.
posted by Good Brain at 11:19 AM on March 15, 2009

Oh, I remember I do have a small laptop - I have an iBook which I guess isn't all that much bigger than these netbook things. It sits under my desk and hasn't been used in a while.
posted by nowonmai at 11:20 AM on March 15, 2009

I have extensive experience with both the ipod touch (I bought one for my girlfriend as a birthday present) and the eeepc 900 (a 9 inch screen model that I use daily) as well as the Aspire One that at least one person has mentioned.

As others have pointed out it comes down to how and where you will use it and how you will carry it. The eeepc is the smallest fully functional computer on the market (with a couple of oddball exceptions with really weird dimensions). I love the size of it. Prior to the release of the Eeepc I lusted after the Sony TZ laptops. Now that I have th Eeepc, I can't imagine having a laptop that huge. All the other netbooks fail in the area that the Eeepc excels - size. All the others are significantly bigger. Take the Aspire One for example. It is almost a full inch wider than the Eeepc. I take my Eeepc with me almost where ever I go. It is fantastic for travelling and has been all over the world with me.

As for the ipod touch... I wasn't impressed with it at first. I thought of it as an overpowered mp3 player. After using it for a while I realized the music capability is more of an afterthought. It's primarily a web browser/video player and it does those quite well within its screen's limitations. After realizing that I have come to appreciate it for what it is. My girlfriend uses it daily in addition to her main computer (a 15" laptop).

If you want a fully functional computer the get the Eeepc (I recommend one with a 9 inch screen). If web capability and/or video playback is/are your primary interests, then the size should be your deciding factor. The Eeepc does better at both due to a larger screen and keyboard while the ipod is even more portable. The ipod also has a faster boot time so if you are using it as a momentary diversion for a few minutes at a time, then that is a mark in it's favor.

My girlfriend is extremely pleased with her ipod Touch and I love my Eeepc. Neither of us would trade what we have for the other. Also the resale market is pretty good for both, so if you decide you made the wrong choice you should be able to sell if for close to what you paid for it.
posted by thekiltedwonder at 11:57 AM on March 15, 2009

I can't get my Eee to get online for anything. So there's one personal example.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:20 PM on March 15, 2009

I have an Aspire One (like an eeePC) and an iPhone (like a Touch).

I carry the iPhone always of course, and it's in use a good 10 hours per day, if only for music. It's my primary e-mail client because of the convenience of always-in-touch (I have about seven e-mail accounts all collecting/pushing there). I also use it to watch TV on airplanes. The web browser (which is actually Safari) is sort of unbelievably good for such a small screen, but even then I don't 'surf' much. It does contain my sync'd bookmarks though, so I do read my usual daily blogs and such on the subway.

I grab the Aspire when I'm going to the cafe to hammer out a lot of text, like script notes or documentation, or when I'm doing that kind of work in bed. It's a better browsing experience (Firefox, bigger screen) but still not really as good as a 'real' computer. If I'm home, I pull out the real MacBook for anything more than a few minutes.

But even though it's tiny, there's no way the netbook will ever in my pocket all the time, which is why the iPhone is used much, much more and is the one I would never part with.

So while I like both, it's the iPhone (or Touch in your case) that that I couldn't live without.
posted by rokusan at 12:36 PM on March 15, 2009

I have an eee 901 running ubuntu and I'm bloody love it. I had no idea I had such a use for it. I have a laptop running two screens and an external keyboard at work, and a macbook at home, but the eee gets used more often than you'd think. With my 64 gb USB key full of tv shows and movies, I keep entertained on flights, waiting, sitting on trains and buses. I can leave my eee on the little table on the plane even when the guy in front of me reclines. The SD card slot lets me upload to flickr directly off the card. And it fits in my purse. I also agree that it's nice in meetings (unexpected!), as it's a lower profile and doesn't come between you and the others at the table. I'm running open office on it, so I can do actual work on it if I need to. It's also the perfect "check your email from bed" computer.

That's just my experience of it. Does that help you make a decision?

I'm a mac girl, but I haven't quite found a use for a touch or an iphone. I think either would be fun, but I'm not sure they're practical or particularly useful (for me). I have a classic ipod and a shuffle; I love the ipod for listening to music and podcasts (yay radiolab!), and the shuffle for listening to a single playlist in a very simple, hands-free sort of way. I don't really need another music player at this point. I have a krazr for a phone, which I use primarily for texting and calling my mom. I'd rather use IM on any of my computers, frankly, but occasionally (very occasionally) I'm not inside a happy wifi bubble.

Lots of the touch and iphone apps look like fun, though. I might spring for it in a couple of years.

I agree with everyone else that you need to think about what your needs really are.
posted by Hildegarde at 1:03 PM on March 15, 2009

Very happy with my Asus, I'm replying from it while in bed. Very convenient and portable. Only difficulty is the small keyboard but you can learn to use it.
posted by cdc at 3:32 PM on March 15, 2009

If you have any intention of getting yourself a (new) mobile phone any time in the future, do yourself a favour and don't get the iTouch now -- leave space open to get an iPhone instead. I have an iPhone and if I was only able to use it when wifi was available to me it wouldn't be anywhere near as cool or handy. Basically, if wifi's around and I'm able to access it for free, I'm at home or I'm at work -- which is to say, in a place where (if you're anything like me, anyway) you're going to mostly have a computer around already. I've been known to check email from bed in the mornings on mine, but for the most part it's too fiddly to respond in a lengthy manner and if I think I want to do more than update my Facebook status, I'll get up and onto the computer. At times when you really *want* to be online on your Touch - when you're on the train bored or need to shoot off an email that's desperate enough you're willing to tap it out on the little "soft" keyboard, or out wandering the streets lost and wish a Google map could be accessed - you're not likely to have access unless you've got a service provider pumping it through to you as part of a phone plan (ie, with an iPhone).

So, like everyone says, assess your needs and decide on the basis of those. But if I was tending towards an iTouch myself, I personally (given that for me the "cool" factor is really about accessing online services from all over the place) would be thinking seriously about getting an iPhone instead -- or, if it was only a souped-up music player I was wanting, would be talking some sense into myself and just buying a cheap mp3 player. Preferably one with a whole lotta storage space, too - something iPhones and iTouches lack. (I still carry around my old iPod, along with the iPhone, to have my whole music collection on hand.)
posted by springbound at 5:25 PM on March 15, 2009

(I get some sorta super-commission if I sell you an iPhone plan, right?)
posted by springbound at 5:28 PM on March 15, 2009

The Ipod touch is cool, but the netbook is way more functional. If you do go for the netbook, I'm going to jump in and recommend the Acer Aspire One. I looked at both the AsusEEE and the Aspire One, and the Acer seemed more substantial and thoughtfully designed.

I'm MADLY in love with mine. I mean, it's a fully functional computer that fits in a small purse. I can take it anywhere with me. I also use it around the house. Even though I have a desktop and a larger notebook, I tote the Acer around everywhere. It's fun. You will want to get some earbuds, though, if you want to watch video or listen to music, because it's got tiny little speakers that will drive you mad.

I do have a smartphone, but I prefer to have the freedom to download and work on images while I'm online, or to work on longer posts or documents. If I just want to look at something, it's fine, but if I want to interact, I find it limiting and kind of frustrating. Part of the problem is that virtual keypads give me the howling fantods - YMMV with that. I'm not too big on listening to music when I'm tooling around the city, because I like to be aware of my surroundings.

It really depends on how you plan to use your toy. But I sure do adore my Acer.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:29 PM on March 15, 2009

It all boils down to, which one will you actually have with you when you need to use it? And will you always have wifi available? Unless you plan on carrying the Asus with you all the time, I'd agree with springbound and sell you an iPhone (but wait for the new one).
posted by Joleta at 8:41 PM on March 15, 2009

im writing from my EEE -- i wouldnt exchange it with any amount of ipods or iphones.

if you think the keyboard on the eee is too small, think about the ipod keyboard as well..

and guess what, you can buy a second extended battery for your eee and actually connect it to your computer when the previous battery is dead! try that on an ipod.
posted by 3mendo at 3:01 PM on March 17, 2009

Just this week, I think, or late last week, Newegg started carrying a newer AsusEEE which is a 10" unit. Looks about perfect, and apparently they've improved the keyboard. I think it's $349US right now.
posted by Thistledown at 3:20 PM on March 17, 2009

It looks like the current generation of iPod Touch has bluetooth capability that will be unlocked in the next major software release this summer. That's a step towards being able to tether the iTouch to your cell phone for remote internet access, but I doubt that Apple is at the point where they are ready to let the iTouch compete with the iPhone to that degree.

It's also a step closer to letting the iTouch work with an external keyboard, but not close enough, since they said explicitly that they had nothing to announce regarding support for bluetooth input devices.
posted by Good Brain at 6:48 PM on March 17, 2009

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