Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tech 'Tardness  

So I've been using a T-Mobile Sidekick 3 for a while... I use it a lot for comunication on the go, and for work purposes. I started using Sidekicks with the Sk2, a very durable and well-designed unit that served me faithfully for about three years before it was time for a new model.

The Sk3 (pictured above)is a different story. Not sure what happened, but the quality of the craftsmanship went way down. The plastic is lighter and feels cheaper, and the unit itself has fallen apart with small impacts (being dropped out of my hand onto a floor, for example). The internal guts are sketchier, with random bugs popping up and unexplainable tech glitches appearing and disappearing for no apparent reason.

I'm feeling like it's time for a switch, but i'm in love with the Sidekick's general design philosophy prioritizing simplicity and ease of use overall. It feels good in my hands, the keyboard is great, and all the functions are easily accessible and extremely straightforward. I'm not quite ready to let go of the product line yet, but Im hesitant to try another SK since the quality seemed to take a nosedive with the 3.

Being the tech-tard that I am, I'm really hesitant to go with something that's more complicated. I really only need texting, IM, and email... I do a little websurfing on the go, but not a lot and the SK has been able to meet my needs in most ways. I've dinked around with a few models of BlackBerry and I think the designers of those units could take a few lessons in user-friendliness from the SideKick. Granted, i'm very familiar with the SK, but some of the things about how the BB is laid out just rub me the wrong way.

The wife is currently testing a Motorola Q (above) and although it has a better web experience from what I've seen, it lacks in every other way by being less intuitive and more complicated in its menus and layout of programs. A Treo doesn't seem to be what I'm looking for either, and frankly, most of the various units I've looked at are all less than optimal in one way or another.

Is there anything out there that's simple to use, easy to understand, reliable, durable, and gives me everything I need with nothing I don't? If you've got something you think works well, drop me a line and let me know.

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