All in one, or multiple gadgets - what do you think?

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Nigel Harris
Burton Sweet
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It wasn't a high-powered business computing device that prompted this thought, but a simple music player.

The arrival of the new Apple iPod Nano, with it's built-in video camera, has prompted a number of gadget collectors to do just that - collect more gadgets. Apple has been clever in launching an update to the iPod range that - at least for the time being - has unique features. So perhaps you already have an iPod Shuffle to take jogging, and an iPod Touch with your entire music library on - now you decide you also want the new Nano to use as a mini video recorder (and FM radio). And that's without the iPhone or whatever you use for communications! Back in the office, are you a desktop PC or notebook user - or perhaps you have both.

What I'd like to know from our readers is: which way are you going? Are you trying to cram your entire business and social life into as few gadgets as possible - let's face it, an iPhone or the latest smartphone will do most things - or are you a "horses for courses" sort of person, with a briefcase (or holdall) full of separate devices? Can a consumer entertainment device also be the best thing for business applications, or vice versa?

Personally I am uneasy with the all-in-one concept. To start with, I don't like the idea of having everything on one device that I could easily lose. I know there are all sort of desktop and cloud backup solutions, but you just know that the day you lose it will be the day you forgot to back up something vital. So I prefer a phone that is a good phone and doesn't try to be a computer too. I like my last-but-one generation iPod Nano because it's an excellent portable music player, and doesn't try to be anything else. I already have a digital video camera that does that job very well and doesn't want to play music or send text messages. Likewise I prefer a serious desktop computer for serious desktop computing, and a small notebook (a MacBook in fact) for when I'm out and about.

Let's hear your views on this. Is convergence the future, or should we just keep things simple?


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