iPod Touch or Netbook??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mjmar, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Mjmar macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2008
    My mom likes to get Christmas shopping done early, and she is stuck on what to get my dad. He mentions that he's interested in netbooks and the iPod Touch, except she can't decide what to get him. He is into taking photos, and we were wondering if a netbook has enough power to deal with a task like viewing and editing large pictures. Other than that we can't think of another use for the netbook. My mom has the iPhone and my dad likes to play with it occasionally; therefore, he might like the iPod Touch. However, we think that the screen might be too small for his liking. What do you think the best gift for him is? Thanks for all of the help.
  2. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    A netbook, especially if it's running Windows, will have more than enough power to mess around with photos. No, you won't be running CS4, but it will be able to perform far beyond the capabilities of an iPod. You can pick some up at reasonable prices with a gig of ram, decent sized hard drives, and an Atom chip; I think that those would perform nicely. I really don't know to what extreme he'd be using it, so more details could help in making the better decision.
  3. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I'll probably get grilled for this, but I fail to see any real reason for purchasing a netbook. In my opinion, they're just novelty. I have a friend who owns one and he has the most difficult time typing/reading his work, yet he refuses to admit that it's impractical for his purposes! OK, enough of that.

    Judging by your description, I think the netbook would be a poor choice. If you're concerned about your father being able to read text off of an iPhone/iPod, it won't be much better with a dinky 8.9" screen. If he owns a regular computer, I doubt he would use the netbook for photo editing anyway. Speaking of which, I disagree with the other response - I think photo editing would be extremely taxing on those machines (it's called a NETbook for a reason). When I'm editing photos, I usually attempt to do 3 at a time... I doubt an Asus EEE could handle that.

    So, to answer your question, try thinking about what he does on weekends. Don't limit yourself to just the iPod/Netbook - guys like a whole bunch of other things. Whatever you decide, make sure to get him a case of beer as well... you can't go wrong with beer!

    Just a thought - if he's an amateur photographer, why not some photographic gear? A half-decent lens could be had for about the same price as a netbook. Good luck with the decision!
  4. phobic99 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2008
    I have a netbook (a MSI Wind that runs OS X 10.5.5 actually) and I do pretty much everything with it. It really is a fantastic little machine and extremely portable. However, I couldn't imagine editing large photos on it simply because a 10.2" just isn't big enough for such work.

    Netbooks are designed so that you can do basic computer tasks and remain highly portable. They aren't fully fledged computers of course so they compliment your main desktop workstation. Type up a document or some notes from a meeting then finish the rest on your main machine. I was hesitant on getting one at first because for starters, there's no DVD drive. How many times do you actually use the DVD drive on the go?

    I also have an iPhone and besides making phone calls or sending texts I only use it when A) I forgot my netbook or B) I'm somewhere for a short period of time. Surfing the web is multiple times more enjoyable using a 10" screen vs the iPhone's screen. Simply no comparison.
  5. Gamoe macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2006
    One thing you could do with a decent netbook and not with an iPod Touch is typing. Sure, it's a little cramped, compared to a regular notebook, but it's much better than an iPod Touch.

    As for photos, I'm sure it could handle some relatively simple operations, such as cropping, brightness, saturation, etc. But RAM is more limited on a netbook, so you don't want to give it too much to work with, otherwise it will resort to paging very slowly on the hard drive or SSD

    Also, realize that the quality of the screens on these netbooks is probably not on par with that of your average MacBook, either, so color accuracy won't be what it will on a good quality built-in Apple display or an external display.
  6. highjumppudding macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2008
    the ipod touch or iphone for that matter are nowhere near personal computer level. you cant even technically save or manage files on the device and there is low amount of storage on it. maybe get a refurb mac or look in the classifieds.
  7. six.four macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2008
    I'll agree that the netbook market is a very niche market that many people don't quite understand.

    Why did a netbook appeal to me?


    The thought of a crack on my sony TZ makes me cringe. Before my netbook, I would have to think twice about the necessity of bringing my laptop around. When I travel on leisure, I mostly just need a notebook to surf, email, and watch the occasional movie. I don't need to lug around my $1800+ laptop for that. The price of $3-400 is a price I can live with - not to mention the netbook I purchased, the dell Mini 9, is extremely rugged.


    It uses an SSD. No moving parts and fast read speeds. My Mini 9 booted to windows much quicker than my quad core desktop does. The people who have used OSX on their minis reported it being extremely snappy as well.

    It is fanless. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Dell Mini is the first laptop to be completely passively cooled. Silent - no hard drive spinning noise, no fans - and it never really got too warm even at load.

    Because there are no moving parts and no fans - the chances that you will face a mechanical failure is close to zero. Bump it around or drop it while its reading a disk and it'll still work good as new.


    The screen size is small, but considering I spend alot of time in front of my 11.1" Sony which has a resolution of 1366x768 , the 9" screen wasn't bad at all. The size of the netbook I had - the Dell Mini 9, was astonishing. It was even smaller than my Sony TZ. It's about the same size as a hardcover novel and probably weighed less.
  8. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Jul 8, 2008
    my house
    you should make this a poll...?

    I'd rather have the iPod touch
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
  10. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    ipod touch, he can put it into his pocket and listen to music!

    surf the net on wifi and download games from the app store!

    whilst it doesn't have the computing power of a netbook, it'll fit in his pocket, he'll carry it everywhere more often, and i think it's more fun on a whole.
  11. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Apr 1, 2008
    Go for the NetBook, and if your dad is a Windows guy, stick Windows on it or get something with it preinstalled (Dell Mini 9). If he like OSX, you could stick that on there too :).
  12. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    With all due respect, if you're afraid to take an ultra-portable laptop out of the house, then why did you bother buying one?

    Anyway, I'm not here to debate the usefulness of a netbook - the OP is asking for advice on buying a gift. When you put things in perspective, a netbook just isn't a good fit. I assume you're a student and you take your computer to class, to a friends place, on the bus, etc. The OP is shopping for his/her father. How many middle-aged men do you see walking around with a netbook? A little common sense will tell you that with old age comes pudgy fingers and poor vision.

    Get him a power drill if he's so inclined :D
  13. yrael macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2008
    West Coast
    Well, most of this really depends on the media that your dad could possibly use those devices for. If he wants to watch movies, anything that is high quality might choke a netbook, but ipod touches have to have the right format to play it. And also how mobile is he, to the point of having enough time to edit photos randomly, or only enough to glance at a picture he's rather fond of.

    I had the same inkling feeling to buy one or the other, before the new macbooks came out. I liked the idea of having a touch, because it was the exact mobile applications that I wanted from a computer without all the weight and dedication you'd need with taking a netbook. And the games looked incredibly fun. (If he can play around with an iphone, the touch's screen can't be that bad)

    At that, my two cents are with [nope]. Get something that will really scratch that photographer's itch.
  14. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Difficult question. Both have pro's and con's.

    One thing that strikes me with the iPod touch, is that it is a wonderful music player that allows me to listen to audio books, watch videos, view photos, and I can do e-mail and browse the web. All in a device that fits nicely in my pocket.

    I can make memos to myself and short reports with the touch. It's slow typing for sure, but usable. And when I get home, or near a WiFi spot, I just email my notes to myself, cut and paste into word, do some editing and I am done. Convenient.

    A Netbook is nice in that it has a bigger screen. However, it does not lend itself like a full sized laptop, the keys are small and hard to type on if you have large hands, and it's not near as convenient to carry as a touch. I used to have a Sharp MM20 which was a very nice light laptop PC. It had a 10 inch screen and weighed around 2 pounds. I ran Windows XP and Office 2003. Worked fine, but was limited at playing a video, or doing things quickly. And typing on it was, well, it required patience with the smaller keys. I sold it to a friend, and used the proceeds to purchase a touch. Good decision for me.

    I used to use a combination of a desktop and laptop computer. Now I am in the process of transitioning to a laptop and touch combination. So far I really like the change. I travel on the train fairly often. They are crowded. I can easily use my touch while standing up unlike the Netbook. I never was able to use the MM20 successfully on the train. The touch works great for me.

    YMMV. Good luck with your choice.
  15. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Forgot to mention something... If you end up going with photographic gear, shop at either adorama or B&H photo. Those are two highly reputable companies with rock-bottom prices and the best customer service. I've ordered equipment from both companies with absolutely no complaints. Avoid ebay at all costs and make sure you know what "grey market" means because it will affect your warranty coverage.

    Additionally, if you live in Canada, there is no duty on photographic equipment (you just pay GST/PST/S&H). For some odd reason, photographic equipment usually costs double in Canada. That said, remember where the dollar stands (78 cents).
  16. Cole Slaw macrumors 6502a

    Cole Slaw

    Oct 6, 2006
    Get a netbook, one that uses a hard drive for storage.
    I think you'll find that a netbook can do a lot more than the similarly priced 32 gig iPod Touch.
  17. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    But will it fit in your pocket? :p

    Size is but one consideration.
  18. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    Obviously if you're looking for something to fit in your pocket, a touch will be the only thing that fits.

    But if you basically want a computer that is light and has a small footprint, then ultimately the netbook is still a computer, while the touch is a smart-music player

    Yes that's a gross simplification, but the iPhone i have gets little use beyond music now when I can use my netbook. So if you're in situations where having a netbook is quite often, its the netbook.
  19. charliex5 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2008
    Seattle, WA
  20. SharpShootist macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008

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