Unless you've been living under a rock, no doubt you've heard about the new iPod Photo, which costs $600 for the 60 GB version. This little unit has the ability to play images and slideshows, both on its own colour screen and on external TVs. You can also store images on it, downloaded from memory cards via a third-party flash reader costing $100. However, contrary to popular belief, you cannot actually view those images. Thus, the iPod Photo represents a less than stellar photo accessory, and is best described as an excellent music player, with some extra photo features thrown in for good measure.
Now, Amazon.com has recently started selling the 1.2 GHz 12" iBook with a $150 rebate, effectively pricing the unit at just $850, only $250 more than the iPod Photo (or even less than $250 more if you factor the flash card readers into the equation). This wonderful photo accessory has a huge 12" colour screen, and supports direct flash card downloads (with a $15 add-on), photo viewing, photo editing, photo management, and even photo archiving onto CD-Rs. And the iBook plays music too, and can surf the internet wirelessly. The only drawback is that the iBook has just half the hard drive capacity of the full-sized iPod Photo.
It should be obvious by now that the above comparison is facetious, but it's always good to keep things in perspective. The iPod Photo is nice, and will sell well this Christmas season. However, I think my next iPod purchase is going to be an iPod mini (when it hits 6 GB in 2005), especially if Apple cannot improve the photo support of the so-called iPod Photo.