My New Laptop Computer is an iPod Touch – Part 4 – Purchase and Out-of-the-Box Experience

Here’s the next installment in my multi-part series on my decision to buy an iPod Touch as my new laptop computer. The focus of this part is on my actual experience making the purchase and my first day with the iPod Touch.
As I mentioned, I had essentially made my decision to buy an iPod Touch as my new laptop computer as I drove home from the Missouri Bar Solo and Small Firm Conference and then cemented my decision after talking in great detail with an employee at my local Apple Store.
However, I didn’t buy the iPod Touch right then – for a couple of reasons. The primary reason is that I’m just not that spontaneous. I wanted to spend a little time thinking about it. I was also running way late for the family Father’s Day party and my daughter was telling me that we had to get going. Also, my salesperson told me that it made sense to wait until July 11 because the new operating system software would be out and I’d save the ten dollars on the updated software by buying later. More on that later.
I also decided that my salesperson had spent so much time with me that I really needed to buy the iPod Touch at the Apple Store and not look for a discounted price, say, at Amazon. And that would let me walk out of the store with instant gratification.
So, my plan became to buy the iPod Touch on July 12 (Saturday morning). I was a little surprised that I didn’t shake in my resolve in the least, but I was thinking about the whole “Best is the enemy of the good” concept.
The apparent fiasco of the July 11 launch of the iPhone did give me some pause. When I went onto the website for my Apple Store to check the store hours, I saw that I could actually set up an appointment. That seemed like a good idea.
It was easy enough to set up an appointment and I get an email confirmation. So, I was all set. I also updated my iTunes.
Saturday morning, however, I got an email from the store confirming a different time for my appointment and suggesting that there would be no guarantee that I’d get my appointment.
Undeterred, I printed out my appointment confirmation from the night before and headed out to the store. One thing I’ll always remember from that morning was that when I parked at the mall, I saw for the first time an instance of someone parking in a way that effectively took four (not just two) parking places (making them a candidate for this probably NSFW site).
I strolled through the mall and saw a line off a hundred or so people outside the Apple Store. I took my appointment confirmation to the head of the line and security let me right in, after I assured them that I wasn’t there to buy an iPhone.
The purchase experience could not have been better, and the (new to me) salesperson told me that I was smart to have bought my iPod Touch after the 11th because I’d save the $10 on the software update. Apparently, the system would associate my serial number with the purchase date and I would be charged.
The Out of the Box Experience.
As with my other Apple experiences, I have to say that the boxing of the product was a thing of beauty. My only complaint, as always, is the assumption that no one really needs any kind of manual to get started – we all must be able to intuit what to do. I recommend buying a book or planning to find out some basic information on the web before getting started.
After determining that I had found the way to turn it on, but that it needed to be charged first, I started charging it and went off to the bookstore with my daughter where I picked up a new book on iPods and iTunes, with a chapter on the iPod Touch.
Later, I decided to start by updating the software, which, of course, the iTunes store charged me $10 for. I “reported a problem” with the charge, but noticed that it showed up on my credit card bill. Oh, well, at least I can whine about that in a blog post a lot of people will read.
I will note, as have others, this update takes a very long time. Unfortunately, it also failed about 2/3 of the way through it. I wrote down the error message, said a little prayer, and started the install again. It took another very long time, but successfully completed.
I got the iPod Touch synched and loaded, and started exploring it. I was very impressed. Connecting it to my home network was a piece of cake, and I was on the Internet. I posted on Twitter and Facebook, checked my email, and read newsfeeds in Google Reader. I checked out my website, viewed some videos and listened to some music.
At the end of day one, I was (1) very glad and relieved to be done with the setup and update process, and (2) convinced that the iPod Touch could actually do what I thought it could do for me.
Coming in Part 5 – observations about my experience to-date.
I’ve also noted a number of other people writing about iPhones and iPod Touches as alternatives to laptop computers:
Can you travel without a computer, and just take an iPhone?
Can the iPhone or iPod Touch Replace Your Laptop?
Forget the iPhone–The iPod Touch is Good Enough
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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Comments

  1. says

    I think this is a great series.
    I just made my first trip with my iPhone, but no laptop. It was vacation so I wasn’t attempting to do a lot of work, but there was one project that was reasonably hot and heavy and other clients that needed a little hand-holding.
    I had no trouble receiving and responding to email. There was a bit of document negotiation so it would have been nice to make edits in Word docs, but we certainly were able to convey changes in emails. If this was a real issue, I think I could easily use an online doc collaboration tool (google docs, zoho, etc) that I would have been able to easily access with the iPhone.
    All in all, I was very happy with the iPhone’s performance. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it as a backup laptop for short periods of time.
    Interestingly, we were in a reasonably remote part of Mexico where wireless service was spotty, but the Edge service was ever present. I don’t have a broadband card for the laptop (I’m in Austin, after all, where wireless access is everywhere), so I had more internet and email access using the iPhone than I would have with my laptop.
    I look forward to your future installments, particularly how you handle presentations.

  2. says

    Dennis,
    How’s your usage coming along in real life situations? I’m wondering how effective it would be to use it for light document editing, etc. on the train, but also wanted a solution that was functional like a PDA for to do list, calendar, etc.