Product Review: iPod Touch

When a piece of technology becomes a term in of itself, it probably means it’s a pretty good machine. Case and point, when people started referring to all MP3 players simply as iPods no matter what company made it, Steve Jobs was probably smitten. When Apple released the first iteration of the iPod back in 2001 it started a change in the development of mobile technology. Companies could no longer dump cash into R&D departments hoping to stumble onto the next great hand-held device as Apple created a tiny, yet powerful device that could meld physical activity like exercise and technology.

Fast forward almost a decade and Apple did it again, but this time with a little bit more. The iPod Touch took what was great about the original iPod and introduced touch-technology while combining it all on a powerful little screen. Who would have guessed ten years ago that you would be able to watch a movie, organize your day, play a game and take notes all from your iPod?

Here’s what is great…

The iPod Touch is great for traveling. With the minimal design of 4.33 inches by 2.44 inches, the hand-held device really is hand held. One of the first things that will probably attract you to the Touch is the screen. Although the device is small, Apple has managed to cram a 320 X 480 pixel touch screen right into the palm of your hand. Sure the screen is small, but it is extremely vibrant and allows you to experience everything from a Pixar movie to a foreign film without having to squint too much. Space is another major attraction to the iPod Touch. When the first iteration of the iPod was released, 4 gigs was a big deal — now you can carry up to 64 gigs in your pocket if you purchase the latest version. The touch-screen concept might take a day or so to get used to, but getting used to the slide and tap concept isn’t as bad as Blackberry enthusiasts think. The last benefit I’ll mention is the ability to connect over Wi-Fi. Not only can you bounce to thousands of songs and other media, you can actually access your email and download Apps from the Apple App Store if you are within range of a signal. If you’re thinking of one-day investing in an iPhone, the iPod Touch is a great way to help you make the decision. Apple also runs an educational deal where if you buy an iMac or a MacBook, they will throw in an iPod Touch for free.

Here’s what isn’t so great…

Like a lot of Apple products, the iPod Touch can be slightly deceiving. I know I mentioned the space as a benefit before, but if you are accustom to carrying around large files and lots of them, then even the 64 gig option might be a bit too small. Another downfall is that the iPod Touch is literally a tease for the iPhone. With all of the options of the iPod Touch available for the iPhone, the Touch is the ultimate up-sell advertising device. Basically, what you can’t do with an iPod Touch, you can probably do with an iPhone and Apple will never let you forget it. This goes for everything from Apps to media (especially with the iTunes Genius technology), so if you one day decide to purchase an iPhone, you’ll wonder why you ever wasted your money on an iPod Touch. The last criticism is the Touch‘s reliance on Wi-Fi without the capability to connect over a 3G network. What this means is you can’t download or connect to the Internet while you walk down the street, rather you have to make a stop in an area that has an open connection. For the retail price of $399, the iPod Touch really isn’t worth it either.

Here’s who should get one…

The iPod Touch really is for everyone, but there is a catch. If you decide to get one, go in knowing that you’ll probably end up wanting to get the iPhone anyway. Like I mentioned above, the Touch is a great way to train yourself on the slide and tap touch screen, but at the end of the day you probably won’t think it is worth it.