So the big question is this: is the iPod Touch all it's cracked up to be?
The short and easy answer is yes.
You want negatives? I'll give you the cons, but bear in mind that they don't mean much because if you like the idea of the Touch, the cons will be very tiny flies in a very luscious ointment. However, you will probably, like me, wish first of all that the rear panel wasn't so prone to fingerprints. It does seem a bit pointless, but there it is. It's not as though you'll be looking at the back of your iPod much is it? The glass panel attracts fingerprints too, but what do you expect? It's a TOUCH SENSITIVE device. Anyway, you only see the fingerprints when you switch it off and Apple give you a little velvet cloth, which you'll throw away soon because it doesn't do a very good job with fingerprints.
The biggest flaw, I think, is that there's no speaker. You can wow your friends with YouTube videos, but they can't hear them unless they use your earphones, and it's yucky to share earphones. Just a little speaker would have been nice.
It's also a bit heavy. Well, compared to my nano that is. You'll know it's in your pocket, that's for sure.
Other people moan that the calendar won't let you add events [stop press: now you can do this] and such nonsense, but I'm not going to criticise the software. Give it time. With an interface like this, and third party software to come, the Touch will be able to do a whole lot more before long. That's pretty exciting.
Now onto the good stuff. The touch screen interface is stunning. It just makes you feel very cool when you use it, and not only that, it's logical, responsive, attractive, and decidedly compulsive. When did you last get a gadget that was so much fun just to switch off and on? Seriously, this is the future of interfaces. If we never realised it before, we do now and nothing less will do in future.
Even without wi-fi, the Touch would be the dog's whatnots. But by adding wi-fi, Apple has created a device that's in a different league to any other iPod because you can surf the net. So when somebody asks you what's on your iPod, you can now say, EVERYTHING. IF you have the internet, you always have something to do on your iPod, and the internet looks so brilliant you'll want to use it a lot. You can even check your emails if you know how to do webmail. And send emails on the surprisingly good keyboard that pops up on the screen whenever you tap a text field. It even learns the words you type more often. And the way you position your cursor is just amazing. You need to try it. And there's the iTunes wi-fi store, that works perfectly.
Obviously you need to be near a wi-fi hotspot you can get onto, so that's something to think about, but how long will it be before cafes and bars are using free wi-fi to lure us in?
At home, I got onto my wireless network in seconds and now I use my iPod to check online rather than my computer because it's so much quicker, even though the Touch takes a surprisingly long time to boot up. And you can carry it around the house and even out into the garden, where the screen works extremely well, no matter how bright the sun.
Did I mention web apps? There's a huge and growing list of these now and they work just like applications, as long as you're on the net. Yes, the wi-fi connectivity is a crucial part of what makes this thing tick.
And when you're not on the net, you've got a terrific music and video player that also has your contacts and calendar, a great calculator, an amazing variety of clocks and timers with alarms (setting them is a dream) and the coolest gadget anybody has seen for years to impress your friends. And believe me, they will be VERY impressed.