One of my favorite devices is the Sansa Clip. It’s the perfect MP3 player for the gym. It’s cheap, it’s tiny, it’s lightweight, it has a super long battery life. Everything about it just works. Maybe the best thing about it though is that it’s not my phone.
While any modern smartphone is more than capable of being a MP3 player, it comes with several disadvantages. If you break it, you break your phone. If you lose it, you lose your phone. It’s most definitely heavier and bigger. It uses your phone’s battery. And you can get interrupted with phone calls while working out.
To me, it’s well worth the $39.99 for the Clip. Case in point – I lost my original Clip about a month ago. It was probably three years old. I spent a few minutes looking for it but when it became evident that it was probably permanently lost, I just hopped on Amazon, ordered a new one, spent 15 minutes adding music to it when it arrived, and I was back in business.
I feel much the same way about the GPS in my car. While I could use my phone, it just seems simpler and more convenient to have a dedicated device just for navigating me around. Not to mention that a good GPS now a days is under $100.
Tying this back to my last post about the Chromebook: if the Chromebook was a $99 computer it would begin to make sense for everyone to have one…just because it’s a $99 computer. I’ve noticed that I treat my CR-48 totally differently than I do my laptop. It’s less valuable to me so I’m more willing to use it in situations I probably wouldn’t use my laptop: outside, on the train, while I’m eating, to read recipes while I’m in the kitchen cooking, etc. If all MP3 players like the Clip were $100+ I probably would just suck it up and use my phone. The low price point makes it expendable, which in turn makes it an awesome device. With a $99 Chromebook all of a sudden you overlook it’s shortcomings and see that it has a 3G connection, long battery life, and boots up almost instantly, and it becomes a pretty attractive device to have around just for the sake of having it. If Google doesn’t do it, someone else eventually will. ASUS has a $200 computer on the way. It’s just a matter of time before prices dip under $100.