Re-view: Not an iPhone, not a netbook…all iPod touch.

ipod-touch-2GIf you couldn’t tell from yesterday’s post, I’m feeling a bit defensive about one of my favorite gadgets of all time – iPod touch (2G • 32gb) – in light of yesterday’s somewhat-impressive-yet-entirely-expected iPhone 3G S reveal. Maybe defensive is the wrong word…how about feeling the need to give credit where credit is due.

Why, because I really don’t think people give the touch (yes, that’s a lower case “t” as that is how the name ‘iPod touch’ is trademarked) enough credit. Sure it’s not an iPhone, it’s not a netbook, and it’s not perfect (although it will get closer with the 3.0 software update).

But it is a pocket-sized, Web-enabled, video / music-playing, gaming rig with no data fees, 32gb of flash storage, and access to the great majority of the 50K+ iApps in the App Store all wrapped in a sleek .33″ stainless steel enclosure with the same 3.5″ multi-touch LCD display as its cousin. Not to mention, the iPod touch operates at a faster processing speed (532MHz) than the iPhone 3G (412MHz) and still manages to get 36 hours of audio / 6 hours of video playback per charge.1

While the touch is clearly not a netbook, let alone a laptop, it can suffice under the right circumstances. For example, on a recent trip back east I decided to leave my laptop @ home and just bring the iPod touch. I was able to watch a movie, a few tv shows, and listen to music for the entire flight from SF to DC on a single charge, something most netbook/laptops can’t achieve. While in DC, although I had access to friend’s/family’s desktops, I was able to do the majority of all my web-based activity on the iPod touch, whether it was checking / sending email, staying on top of my favorite sites (via Google Reader), or writing drafts for future blog posts with the WordPress iApp, the touch was more than adequate. I was also able to use the touch around the city by popping into a local coffee shop or book store that offered free WiFi for a quick look-up or map search.

So what’s the point? The point is, if you are looking for a single device to surf the web, check email, play games, listen to music, and watch movies (to name a few activities), and you don’t want/need a phone or netbook (presumably because you already have a phone and/or a laptop) the touch is a great solution. If you forgo the extra storage space (keeping in mind that you can access lots of music / videos over the web, in various ways, wherever there is WiFi) for the 8gb, all this can be had for under $200.

However, if you are thinking about getting an iPod touch in the near future, keep two things in mind: 1. if you wait until after June 17, your new pod will come with the latest 3.0 software update at no charge; and 2. Apple tends to update the iPod lineup closer to the back-to-school rush (August-ish). Either way, you can’t really lose with the touch, that is, assuming you don’t expect it to be an iPhone or a netbook…which it’s not.