In January it'll be three years since I joined TrustedReviews and it's remarkable to see how the tech industry has developed since then. Upon landing the job my first purchase was a new monitor, the outstanding Samsung SyncMaster 215TW. It cost me £380. It seems inconceivable to spend so much on a 22in monitor these days, let alone one that doesn't have at least a Full HD resolution. All the same, it's just as good now as it ever was and though monitors have got cheaper, they haven't necessarily got better.
Since then I've made numerous tech purchases. Next there was a laptop, the Dell XPS M1330. Dodgy nVidia graphics cards accepted - and so far I seem to have avoided any issues on this front - it's been an outstanding servant to me. Then there was a TV, another Samsung, the 37in LE-37R87BD that cost me just £480; a bargain at the time, though I hate to think how much TV I could get for my money now. This year I finally got around to buying a Blu-ray player to go with it, opting for another TrustedReviews Recommended Award winner, the LG BD370.
Predictably, though, the most significant tech purchase in all my time here has been my iPhone 3G. Like most people, my mobile phone is the one piece of technology that rarely leaves my side. It is my primary gateway to the Internet, social networking and music. It is, to my mind, the most significant technology product that has been released in my short time in technology journalism. However, as much as I love it, paradoxically it's the one device out of all I've bought whose future is most in doubt.
That's because my 18 month contract is also due to end in January. Not long ago what to do would have been a straightforward decision for me, but never have I doubted my faith so much. The catalyst for my techie soul searching (if that doesn't sound too melodramatic) was the recent reminder of just how irritating iTunes is. Just before I left for IFA 2009, I realised I hadn't updated the music on my iPhone. Having recently purchased lots of new music, I was keen to listen to it on my flight. I had thirty minutes before I needed to leave. Plenty of time, I thought.
As it turned out it was enough time, but only just. Given my ambivalence toward iTunes, I don't update my iPhone too often. So, when I decided at 6:00am on a Wednesday to do so, it had rather more to do than usual. It had to download any new apps, backup the whole iPhone and generally fanny around before it even started to copy my new music across. In the end it took me 25 minutes, making me lust after a little bit of drag and drop action. All I wanted was to update my music. Everything else could have waited if iTunes would have allowed it.
Apple's recent release of iTunes 9 has done nothing to improve matters, but none of this really surprises me. iTunes was my big reservation when I bought my iPhone and I've continued to tolerate its deficiencies due to the iPhone's greater benefits. However, with Android devices - particularly the excellent HTC Hero - making great strides and Palm's resurgence with the upcoming Pre, the grass elsewhere is looking greener than it ever has.