Sunday, April 06, 2008

Gadget Love

Just returned from a week long trip with only two gadgets. My Treo 650 and my Nokia n810 Internet Tablet. First things first. The Treo. I have a love/hate relationship with the Treo. It reminds me of at least one relationship I've had with the fairer sex. Beautiful package crying out to be touched - and lots of toys I want to play with if only the damn thing would let me.
Don't get me wrong, the phone and PDA are fine. Nearly perfect in their intent - with just a few misses in execution. However this is my third 650. I've now paid as much in insurance deductibles as I would have paid for a new phone. Two weeks after I got the latest one it stopped working 150 miles from home in the middle of a medical emergency last summer - I was ready to throw it against the wall. I kept in only for the data it contained. Fully intending to end my infatuation at first opportunity.

A lucky drop on the pavement seemed to revive the vile device however. Never mind that all my calls since sound like everyone in my address book is a cricket. A few weeks later I was happily sending text messages to my Son on the other side of the country as I enjoyed a music festival and kept tabs on the office from 200 miles away. Back in love. 30 days after that I had a fit in front of my kids and literally punched it in the face as it refused to get online for much needed directions in an unfamiliar town. (Until I pulled the battery, cursed and threatened it's existence anyway. Arrh!)

I'm now regularly surfing Verizon's website like a lonely member looking for a new relationship, but I've been burned and am heart broken. It will take allot more than a pretty face and the promise of EVDO to win my affection this time.

The Treo did not disappoint me on this last trip (crickets aside). Perhaps she suspects my heart and is looking for a way to get that last stab at my tender emotions. That, and I did not ask her to be anything other than a phone/txt device. In fact I have not asked more than that from her since that day last summer.

Enter the other woman... The Nokia 810 Internet tablet.

Drop dead sexy. 10 times as smart. Open source. Oh my! She even speaks my language. WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, Vo/IP. She gets it all! Laptop schmaptop. Who needs that huge, heavy old thing. A day or two of DVD ripping and I even had the latest movies for the flight! Wow! Every time I was lost and wandering all I had to do was ask. She would take me by the hand and lead - she even has cute little quips to say as you arrive at your destination.

Yes my tablet has become the apple of my eye (gadget wise). I take her everywhere. I've stopped using the Treo for my schedule - I can see my GroupWise calendar from anywhere there is WiFi. Honestly - in the US that's just about anywhere. Most airports and almost all hotels these days have free access. If you can't find an open network where you are - walk 50 feet. I'm even starting to wonder about the need for a cell phone at all. With the tablet's deft handling of not only SIP but Gizmo5 and Skype and any (or all) IM service - what' a cell phone for again?

I'll probably soon replace the Treo with a more average, non-smart, phone. Soon after that though... Watch out cellular providers - you might not see it yet but you are in as much danger of becoming irrelevant as the regional bells have recently proven to be. The same advice might just apply to the makers of laptops and most certainly to Microsoft. I do carry a foldable bluetooth keyboard for the tablet for serious writing. Even with that and a charger the the 810 weighs POUNDS less than my laptop alone and does not require a separate bag.

In case you missed it - a year ago I carried a laptop (power adapter, mouse, spare battery, headset). A GPS (charger, mount, car power adapter), my Treo (charger, headset, spare battery), and a handful of DVD's for the plane (I could have ripped them I know). All this in a bag the size of a small suitcase.

This year on the same trip - I had my Treo, charger, battery. My tablet, charger, car power, car mount, the bluetooth keyboard and headset are shared between the Treo and Nokia. In a bag that WAS my suitcase. Plus, I could have left the Treo et al, at home.

Now Nokia has a tablet that sports both WiFi and Wimax! If only they had an EVDO version...

Links worth your time:

The Nseries Tablet
My SIP provider:

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