I think that Apple's Ipod Touch has got to be one of the coolest and most useful gadgets ever made. Maybe the Iphone beats it because of the phone functionality, but you have to pay through the nose for that, whereas, with the $230 ipod touch you get 95% of the usefullness of the iphone withough committing to a $100/month contract (I have a free cell phone through work, which I don't want to give up anyway). The only disadvantage is that you need to have Wifi access for functions which need the internet, while the iphone uses the cellular network. But nowadays almost anywhere you go you can pick up a Wifi signal, so this isn't such a limitation any more.
So here is my list of things that I do on my ipod touch:
1. PDA functions:
-calendar/scheduler (syncs with Google Calendar!)
2. Clock and Alarm
3. Stopwatch/Timer (for timing physical performance, which I do in my medical practice)
4. Check the weather (with built in Yahoo Weather program)
5. Check stocks (with built in stock market graphing program)
6. Check Shabbat times (with free Shabbat program)
7. Browse the internet
8. Get and write E-mail
9. Listen to music
10. Listen to lectures and other podcasts, at home, while jogging, and while commuting.
11. Play Sudoku and other games
12. Use Calculator and unit conversions
13. Read e-books
14. Read medical texts and check drugs.
15. Watch YouTube videos or other video podcasts
16. Reference Wikipedia with free program.
18. Get myself to sleep with soothing sound effects (Ambiance)
19. Store photos of my family to show people
20. transfer Office and pdf documents from my PC for viewing and/or editing
21. Follow Facebook
22. Google instant messaging
Since I have the first-generation model, which doesn't have the ability to record sounds, I can't use it for Skype VoIP phone calls, but that would definitely be on my list if I had the 2G model. Apple is also hinting about a new model with a built-in camera. Maybe for Chanuka...
Except when you need to type long documents, the ipod touch can replace your computer. The sleek design and well-thought out touch interface make it truly user-friendly and fun. The most recent firmware update 3.0 added some badly needed functions including cut and paste, and full Hebrew support. (In the past, if you wanted those things, you had to "jailbreak", basically which means hacking the built in firmware to allow non-Apple approved software to be loaded. This often affects the speed and stability of the system).
I carry around my ipod touch just about everywhere I go, since it is useful in so many situations. Apple really struck gold with this product, and did so at a competitive price. No other comparable priced PDA or phone can touch it (sorry about the pun...). We'll see if Microsoft's Zune or some of the new smartphones can compete.