Mad for MID

I’m going mad for MID – mobile internet device, that is. I want to quickly and easily access the internet from my couch, my car (when I’m NOT driving, thank you), and when I’m out of town. And I do NOT want to wait for Windoze to boot up or pause while it does yet another dang update, nor do I want to apply copious heat to sensitive anatomical parts.

Hot LaptopI have an aging Averatec laptop, but it is painfully slow to boot and has abominable battery life, a sluggish hard disk, less-than-stellar WiFi reception, and painfully scorches my lap as its fan whirs angrily. One thing I do like is that it is small for a laptop with its 12″ screen.

EEE PC 901So I was intrigued when Asus put out the Eee PC 700 for a couple hundred bucks. But it didn’t have built-in cellular internet capability, which would be boon when I’m out of town…Oklahoma doesn’t have the plenitude of WiFi hotspots one finds on the coasts. And now everyone is excited about the improved performance of the forthcoming Eee PC 901, but I’m quite put off by the $560 price. If I’m going to spend that kind of money, why not get a new Dell laptop? Or see if the promised Dell Mini Inspiron is worthwhile?

Nokia N810So maybe I should get a Nokia N810. It puts the internet at your fingertips but drat – it needs WiFi.  I do like the big screen, but I’m not at all fond of styli.

Now I’m wondering if the best solution is to buy the new 3G iPhone from Apple and AT&T. My cheap US Cellular phone is getting long in the tooth and my contract will end in mid-July right after the new iPhone is released. I could get an 8 GB model for only $199 plus AT&T contract or push up to $299 for a 16 GB model. The 3rd party apps for the phone sound intriguing, as does the MobileMe service for push email, calendar, and contacts to the phone and my various computers.

Apple 3G iPhoneA big downside, however, is that Bartlesville doesn’t have 3G phone service from AT&T. When I’m in town I’d still be stuck with the slower EDGE network, only able to go 3G when I’m in Tulsa or other metro areas. But having WiFi in the phone does help.

Another worry is the tiny screen. Sure, Apple has a marvelous touchscreen interface that can zoom in easily, but do I want to be zooming in and out all of the time? Do the websites I frequent have iPhone-friendly versions that would be less of a hassle?

What may push me over the EDGE is recalling the thrill of my first iPod. It was a revolutionary experience, reminding me of how excited I was to program my first home computer back in 1980. I have a feeling the iPhone would be even more exciting to use, despite the drawbacks of a small screen and inadequate AT&T network. At least I know the thing won’t burn a hole in my britches.

About Granger Meador

I enjoy day hikes, photography, podcasts, reading, web design, and technology. My wife Wendy and I work in the Bartlesville Public Schools in northeast Oklahoma, but this blog is outside the scope of our employment.
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5 Responses to Mad for MID

  1. George says:

    How about the HP Mininote 2133. I’m thinking about it. A little big (9″ screen), but good keyboard and good reviews.


  2. gmeador says:

    My largest drawback for the HP Mininote 2133 is that it uses the sluggish VIA C7 microprocessor instead of Intel’s better Atom. Hopefully they’ll upgrade the line soon. And reviews say to watch out for the hard drive models – PC Magazine’s review unit with a 7200 rpm drive got hot, up to 103 degrees on its bottom, and that won’t do.

  3. Eric Schubert says:

    I would definitely recommend that go with iPhone 3G. In fact, I am posting this message with my iPhone. There is no other option in getting the internet on a cell phone. I have loved my iPhone since day one, and I plan on getting the new iPhone 3G in the future. It is very easy to view any web page with the iPhone. You only have to double tap the area on the web page you want to see and it zooms in perfectly on the area, and if you double tap the same area, you zoom out. Just as a testimony for the iPhone, my brother has always hated apple’s products until he used the iPhone. Now, he shows it off to other people and recommends that they buy it. Don’t forget that the iPhone 3G has a GPS built in.

  4. gmeador says:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Eric. I plan to buy the iPhone 3G in July, even though I won’t be able to use the 3G network in Bartlesville. I’ve been watching YouTube videos of the browsing capabilities of various ultramobile PCs and cell phones and agree that the iPhone experience seems irresistible.

  5. Pingback: iWait for the iPhone « MEADOR.ORG ~ The virtual world of Granger Meador

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