I’m noticing a trend with cell phone companies – combining multiple devices into one. For instance, the most popular hybrid right now is the cell phone combined with an mp3 player. Some of the newer devices, though, are also able to function as a PDA, portable television, and web browser. This is all well and good, I suppose, but I have wondered often just how practical these kinds of hybridized solutions really are. Sure, there’s a certain efficiency to having all your favorite digital devices combined into one. It is obviously easier to handle just one device instead of several. The rub comes in, though, when the user wants to switch between functions or use several functions at once. I’ve never used one of these, so again I wonder, how well does this work?
Personally, I think I’d be more inclined to just go ahead and keep all my devices separate. For one thing, I can’t imagine trying to surf the web on that tiny little screen. Same goes for watching my favorite TV show. And I _would_ like to get an mp3 player eventually, but I think I’d rather have it as a standalone device ((I’ve actually been eyeing the iPod Nanos lately.)) – something about having the largest hard drive possible appeals to me and I haven’t heard yet whether a cell phone/mp3 player can rival the 8-20 GB hard drives of well-known standalone devices.
For most people I suspect that hybrid technology like this is a dream come true and is, in fact, a very practical solution. ((It’s also good for the cell phone companies as a way to make a little more money from their customers.)) Of course, I don’t own a cell phone and really don’t want one, so keeping everything separate only makes sense. I might think differently if I actually had a cell phone, but I doubt it.