Recently I’ve been contemplating a series of gadget acquisition – an urge having its origins in the need of easing my day-to-day activities rather than boredom and lack of entertainment. I still haven’t decided on what I should/will buy but here’s a short list of items, together with the reasoning behind their purchase.
Firstly, there’s the all-too-renowned and acclaimed iPhone 4. Fancy device, looking nice, bringing some sort of novelty into the Smartphone world. I say ‘sort of’ not with a tongue-in-cheek attitude but merely assessing the fact that there are other, similar products on the market worth of consideration (the Galaxy S from Samsung being just one of them).
So – wtf? (why the phone?) Apart from the ‘cool factor’ there’s the ‘usability’ factor as well. My current two laptops are used for web browsing (gaming – to a certain extent) and creation. Emailing would be one of the main activities I would undergo on a daily basis, with reading news and getting social in the web environment (a little Facebook here and there, some music sharing on Soundcloud, video scouting on Vimeo/Youtube and many others). Would the iPhone help me in this respect? Ticked.
I will not dwell into how much of an organized person I am, simply because ‘organized‘ and ‘me‘ would rather stand for a contradictio in terminis. Nevertheless, I like keeping track of my activities now and then – especially when they are work-related. The ‘O’-word comes into mind – aka “Organizer”. Does the iPhone have that? It certainly does. Ticked.
Applications. Let’s see now… upon analyzing the default apps coming with the device in either Germany or Switzerland I cannot refrain from admiring the dedication behind the promotion of various services – many of them useful for the daily commuter. Deutsche Bahn’s iPhone app – ticked, SSB Switzerland – ticked. (both of them apps referring to each and every country’s daily commute and railway system). I cannot find a good punchline for how a similar app for Romania’s CFR or local transporation services would look like…
Other apps may refer to Social Media (Facebook), Jogging – Runkeeper (an app using iPhone’s GPS capabilities to track your jogging route and providing mapping and details of pace and calories burned for those sport fans), News (Thomson Reuters), Amazon Kindle, iBooks (initially launched for the iPad, now tailored for the iPhone too), eBay Mobile, etc, etc… Apple’s cleverness lies in the App Store – an (almost) endless resource of rather useless shit but bearing a high entertainment factor that people are buying into.
Now, the most important aspect of this rather impressive phone: the reception issue. In my opinion there’s a little bit too much of a fuss around the reception problem – a little shift of the hand might sort things out – but on a premium phone this problem shouldn’t have been there at all. As for the price – I could get it for ~580 EUR (sim-free, unlocked, directly from the Apple Store). Will it worth?
Moving forward to item #2: Sony Vaio P series. This little netbook caught my eye back in 2009 after first playing with it in a showroom. I’m a sucker for design and this device looks really appealing. It boards a Intel Atom processor @ 1.33 GHz, Windows Vista, 60 GB, GPS, GPRS, 3G, Wi-Fi, 2USB ports, SD card reader, Sony Memory Pro Duo reader and a stunning 1600 x 768 screen resolution. You can also personalize it with a 60 GB or 120 GB SSD drive which will obviously boost the already pumped up price (starting from ~900 EUR).
Why do I want it? Well, I think it would be a worthy companion on those plane trips and while waiting at the airport for the time to fly by. Watching a movie, listening to some music – I can see myself using it for that sort of activity. Next – during a photography session it would be easy for me to connect my card and transfer the files, see how they look – maybe do a little bit of tuning but I would be mostly interested in seeing my photos first-hand and then adjust my photo shooting technique accordingly. Occasional internet browsing when a Wi-Fi connection is available (or permanent, should I enroll for a data package at a GSM network) can also be taken into consideration.
What I’m left with right here is the price. 900 EUR for a brand new device – is it really worthing? (or 470 EUR for a 2nd hand device on amazon.de).
Item #3 (I’ll skip this one in a swift analysis): iPad. I’ve played with it for few minutes and I have thoroughly enjoyed it’s screen brightness and response time when surfing the web. But the way it looks right now it is simply a consumer device. A consumer and not a “creative’s” device. I would like to use the iPad to showcase my photos, to transfer them quickly via USB or memory card reader (both of them inexistent in the current version). Then, I’d be happy to see a Photoshop Light/Adobe Lightroom light or Nikon Capture NX app for the device. But Apple’s idea of the typical iPad’s consumer didn’t coincide with mine (nor others for that matter) so I’m putting this purchase on hold until my simple demands will be met (if ever). I like the iPad – I think it has a lot of potential, if only they’d tailor it a bit more. I’ll be looking forward at next year’s Apple event and listen to Steve Jobs speaking about how well his company has listened to the customer’s voice, and how much they love the customers and how much they want to address all of their customer’s needs – hence introducing the iPad 2 with a front-facing camera, a USB port and… that’s it. Maybe Retina Display too, but that would probably boost the price so maybe Apple will think of another way of increasing the pixel density on the device.
Long story short – no iPad this year. Hopefully HP will do something good with their WebOS powered Slate.
Item #4: new lenses for my camera 😀 I have already got my hands on a beautiful wide-angle lens (a 10-20 mm Sigma) – courtesy of my buddy to whom I thank very very much! (xoxo) 🙂 Next on the wishlist is a Nikkor macro lens and… that’s about it. OK, maybe a 50mm f1.4 but nothing more.
So, now that I see my dilemmas it’s up to me to straighten things up. Which one will it be? None of the acquisitions is less than 600 EUR so.. considering how I’ve lived until now (meaning “without any of the devices”), does it really pay off creating an additional need and paying a helluva lot for it? Time to think it through…