Should I consolidate my gadgets?
January 11, 2006 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Should I consolidate my gadgets?

I was planning on buying a Creative Zen Vision. Then my Palm handheld died. The Zen Vision has a built-in organiser, which could replace some of the functions of my Palm, but not everything. And I've noticed that new handhelds can play music and video. So my questions are: a) should I consolidate (pros and cons please) and if so, b) what are the best media player/organiser products out there? Thanks everyone.
posted by londonmark to Technology (10 answers total)
Do you carry a cell phone? It might make more sense to get a combined phone/PDA, of which there are tons, and go ahead and buy the Zen.
posted by LarryC at 6:18 AM on January 11, 2006

It kinda depends what you were planing on doing with the Zen. If you were thinking about watching movies, you will probably need the Zen. If it was for music, then you should be ok with a PDA that has a flash (or SD) drive and some big flash cards (1+ GB).

I am kinda surprised that the handheld manufactures haven't made a palm with a 20 gb hard drive would be awesome.... watch movies, store lots of music, not to mention much advanced programs.
posted by kashmir772 at 6:31 AM on January 11, 2006

personally i rather have several gadgets that perform its required function well, rather than one gadget that performs every function half-assed.

I have a pda, cell phone, a camera, and an mp3 player. i could combine them all, but why have a crappy music player, a sh!tty organizer, and a crappy camera all in one device?. but thats just my opinion.

as for kashmir, you can also watch movies on a PDA. i do that with my axim x50v. its much better than watching movies on my mp3 player (iAudio X5L)
posted by xospecialk at 6:47 AM on January 11, 2006

Since I got my iPod Nano I've stopped carrying my Palm Pilot around. The Nano has my addresses and calendars, and it's easier to sync than the Palm. I can't enter info into it, but I don't find myself missing that.

I still carry my cell phone, which I deal with manually because I'm retro.
posted by alms at 6:53 AM on January 11, 2006

In most cases, it seems like all-in-one products are a compromise The Zen Vision doesn't replicate all the Palm's organizer features. The Palm doesn't have the capacity, or the mp3-playing UI, of the Zen Vision. Mp3-playing cellphones don't have all the organizer features, or the mp3-playing UI, but neither the Palm nor the Zen makes phone calls. Of course, carrying around four or five individual gadgets (and the associated chargers, USB cables, etc.) is also a compromise. One must simply decide which compromise one prefers.
posted by box at 8:19 AM on January 11, 2006

Palm LifeDrive?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:06 AM on January 11, 2006

Battery Life

While my cell phone has a decent media player (audio / video) and a useable camera (3.2 megapixels), I still carry around an MP3 player and digital camera (separate gadgets). The battery life on the MP3 player dances circles around the cell phone and I have got an extra Li-ion battery for the camera.

If you are going to consolidate, keep battery life in mind. While the cell phone does have a decent battery for phone calls, using the media player to watch full-length movies drains the battery quite quickly. I have ordered a second battery for the cell phone and, if you are going to consolidate, perhaps you should consider doing the same.

Space (on your person)

If you usually carry around a brief case, then I would recommend separate gadgets. In addition to battery life, you will get much better quality/features from products designed for a single purpose. You can throw all your chargers/adapters/cables into the case.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to travel light (no brief case or second bag), perhaps consolidation is the way to go.
posted by cup at 10:52 AM on January 11, 2006

I have been enjoying the use of my new Palm TX as a MP3 player. Major drawbacks: small storage space (LifeDrive would fix this), and for MP3 use, PocketTunes is definitely not as easy to use as a specific MP3 machine. Moving new music onto the device isn't a cinch either.

Major advantages: don't have to carry around one more goddamn device with me.
posted by grouse at 11:30 AM on January 11, 2006

Advantage of multiple devices is that it's easier to justify replacing one if one breaks, or if you see something better.

A swiss army knife is easy to carry, but the little built-in screwdriver blade doesn't always work as well as a full-sized Philips. A swiss army knife with one broken blade also isn't as useful as it used to be, but it isn't worth buying a new swiss army knife for one blade.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:00 PM on January 11, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, all good suggestions. I like the look of the LifeDrive, thanks blue beetle, but the disc space doesn't compare very well to the Zen Vision. I think I want to be able to add data on the move, so I need a Palm. But I also want to be able to add music and video to the device and forget about it (not as easy with only a few Gb). So it looks like I'll have to live with the compromise of multiple gadgets, leads, adapters and god knows what else. There's also the issue of quality, which I hadn't really considered -- hopefully, the Zen Vision will be a better media player than any all-in-one device, so I can console myself with better sound and pictures!
posted by londonmark at 1:23 AM on January 12, 2006

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