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anomie 01-05-2010 07:03 PM

iPod Touch alternatives?
 
I have a distinctly non-Linux question about gadget recommendations that I figure belongs here in "General".

My wife has an iPod Touch, and I adore it. Why not buy one for myself, then? Well, I am very stingy and I like to look around at alternatives first.

The gist of my need is: I want a device that can connect to a wifi network so I can sit and read news stories and email on the commuter bus on my way into the office. (Buses have wifi in my city.)

More specific criteria follows:
  • It can not be a mobile phone. I do not want or need a phone.
  • It must connect to wifi networks relatively easily (without too much voodoo on my part).
  • It must come with, or have available, a generously-featured web browser. I'd like to be able to see images. Streaming video would be great, but not necessary.
  • It must comfortably fit in a normal-sized trouser pocket.
  • Storage is not too important; >= 4GB would be just fine.
  • It should have a (more or less) usable keyboard-like feature so that I can quickly bang out intelligible emails.
  • If it supports mp3, ogg, avi, et al., that would be a bonus.

Given those specific requirements, is there a good fit out there (other than the Touch)? I did some reading on Archos devices, but I don't know anyone who has one.

Thanks in advance for your relevant suggestions.

schneidz 01-06-2010 11:04 AM

i have an archos av500 dvr that i like pretty much. no wifi/ no hdmi but it records standard def pretty well. and its the same size as my creative zen.

i havent seen them in stores but i assume the archos 605 is pretty epensive considering you have to pay extra for the web browser, x264 playback, and a docking station to record 720p.

anomie 01-06-2010 12:38 PM

Your comments jibe with what I've read about some of the Archos devices. It seems to get a useful (in my case) system, I would need to buy a number of extra add-on apps.

Hmm, it appears that Touch dominates this market space at the moment.

anomie 01-06-2010 01:04 PM

For posterity's sake, I did find this thread on another Linux-oriented forum. I'm still researching.

schneidz 01-06-2010 01:37 PM

i would recommend the ipod touch if it werent so hard to get working with linux.

ipod touches aint that expensive (i think $200 for the cheapest one) compared to how much an archos 605/ 705 + codecs + browser + dock, the ipod mite be cheaper.

anomie 01-06-2010 01:49 PM

Yeah, it's incredible. For US$190, one can acquire a very slick little device that plays music, videos, connects to wifi networks, and cruises the web. And it's pocket-sized. And it doesn't require a monthly service fee.

Far be it from me to praise Apple -- frankly, I think they behave badly in the tech community. (But here I am, about to buy another of their products.)

Thanks for the feedback.

cantab 01-06-2010 04:25 PM

There's the Nokia tablets. The latest one is a phone, but the older ones aren't. The Maemo system they run is Linux, based on Debian, and unlike Android Maemo uses mostly standard stuff, like X and GTK. I've never actually used them, but if you want a portable device that runs Linux, it may be your best option.

anomie 01-06-2010 05:13 PM

Nice option. I am reading about the Nokia N800 now. It seems like a contender.


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