Back to school shopping.

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Back to school shopping can be alot of fun…I’ve bought a new laptop and phone – along with a bunch of Textbooks which aren’t as much fun, as they’re annoyingly expensive. (Seriously, we need to work on something disruptive in this segment – they don’t need to be this expensive in this day and age.)So the new phone is the iPhone 3Gs (32GB) and the new laptop will be the Dell mini12 (it hasn’t arrived yet). There is some method in my madness on the choices here and since I find myself with 20 minutes I thought I’d share.iPhone 3Gs – I’ve used a Blackberry for 9 years with the exception of a 2 year stint starting in 2004. I loved my Blackberry – email (and Contact/Cal sync) was the killer app and really RIM did an amazing job making the experience seamless with my desktop. It replaced a much loved Palm I had to organize my life. All that said I have two pockets and one is almost always taken up with my iPod – I wanted to make my life a bit less gadgety. I’m on iPod number 4 (2nd Gen, mini, photo, classic) I love my podcasts and music and in the world of 2009 the seamless nature of email between the desktop and phone is available now on an iPhone, that coupled with an iPod (#5)  built in, made this a winner. The keyboard is missed but not enough to make the case to stick with RIM and the app store is shockingly amazing. Really, after two weeks on an iPhone, I have no regrets. Erin Bury and Mark Evans have better explanations on what’s so amazing here, all were – like me – Blackberry lovers and all are extremely happy with the change. (oh and yay free tethering on Rogers!  for now)I would add one app people might like that I haven’t heard mentioned: Pixelpipe allows me to route all my photos’s to twitpic, FB, flickr and picasa – in whatever way I’d like it to. It also does video on the 3Gs to FB – I’d recommend it if you run multiple photosharing/videosharing systems.  Best of all, its free.Dell Mini 12 – I need a reasonably sized screen, and I a word/excel/powerpoint all on the go with room on my back for a textbook. The Dell mini 12 is light, reasonably powered and has the largest screen in the netbook category. I really do live on websites not programs and since  I’ve been on an Atom chip for 8 months, I suspect this will be fine (and cheap). I have a 42in screen and DVD/rw at home – I don’t need to bulk up on the machine that I carry with me. Hopefully Apple will hit this segment, but I’m not waiting for them. The mini arrives early next weekSo there you go, my gadget ‘back to school’ shopping list.

The Author

Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at


  1. Sam says

    I also just got an iPhone and love it so much. However I was coming from a standard cell phone. I love the pure number of apps available, and at such reasonable prices.

  2. mattroberts says

    My only major complaint is no Skype in Canada…. I think i might jailbreak it. maybe.

  3. mattroberts says

    ok, got skype and onto the iPhone. Yay me.

  4. Dragonmule says

    Saw your comment in mydellmini… have you gotten the mini yet? Expect a 3 week delay if you ordered red. White, black, and pink seem to fly right out the door.I love this machine. I can’t seem to understand why people keep talking trash on the internet about these. The points they make seem to go like…1. Too slow. What exactly did they expect for $400 for a 3 lbs fanless near-silent sub-notebook? These are noticeably faster than my p4 1.8ghz and much faster than when the fan kicks in on said ‘puter. Plus, I paid way more for that clunker laptop which I want to throw at the wall every time the fan kicks in.2. Short battery life. You can buy the 6-cell on ebay for $80. I have used both batteries and actually like the 3-cell battery better for carrying although the 6-cell battery does get more life. I’ve found that the 3-cell is adequate for flipping it open and checking emails on breaks, at lunch, on the bus (we have wifi on our buses), etc. all day.3. The trackpad is too big and the mouse jumps around… if you type with a lazy carpal-tunnel inducing technique. Perhaps this will be good for these people.4. Doesn’t run Vista or Windows 7 very well. Well, whoop-de-doo… neither does my 64 bit quad Xeon desktop.5. Video drivers not optimized for flash. Well, that’s what people get for buying a machine built for portability and trying to run it like a media center PC. Want a media center PC? Buy a media center PC.Hmm… All I originally wanted to say was if you ordered the red case, your order might get delayed a bunch as they are critically short on red cases. It seems they stopped offering a couple of the fancier case options that I had heard of up to 5 week delays on.

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