Nokia N810 First Thoughts Review

Discussion in 'News Headlines' started by Ed Hardy, Nov 5, 2007.

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  1. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy FORMER Editor, TabletPCReview Staff Member

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    The Nokia N810 is a traditional handheld that will be on the market soon. This is the first in Nokia's Internet Tablet series of devices to include an integrated sliding keyboard and a GPS receiver.

    It was on display at a tradeshow I attended, so I was able to get some time with this model and put together my first thoughts on it.

    It's All About the Web Browser

    The N810 is bigger than a typical handheld but smaller than a laptop. Basically, the idea is to give you access to a larger screen than you get on a smartphone on a device that will still fit in your pocket.

    [​IMG]
    (view large image)

    It offers two main features that take advantage of the larger display: web access and video playback. In my initial testing I concentrated primarily on the web browser, and was very impressed.

    The N810 gives as close to a desktop browsing experience as I've seen on a pocket-size device. True, its screen is only (800 x 480) and 4.13 inches, but aside from that you might be hard-pressed to tell you aren't using a desktop browser. It easily handles Flash-based animation like YouTube, for example.

    I pulled up Brighthand on it and was able to read articles, check the forums, etc. as if I was on a regular laptop, albeit one with a very small screen.

    Not a Smartphone

    The most important thing to keep in mind with the N810 is that it isn't a replacement for a smartphone; it's meant to be a companion for a smartphone. It has no cellular-wireless connectivity of it own, but it can use a phone as a wireless modem.

    While you can make phone calls with it, you need to do this with the VoIP application Skype.

    The N810 does have Wi-Fi. The unit I was testing was connected this way, and even on a show floor crowded with wireless devices it was able to get a reliable and reasonably fast connection.

    This and a connection to a Bluetooth phone lets you check your email or Web surf wherever you are.

    Keyboard and Input

    The feature that finally got me interested in one of Nokia's Internet Tablet series is the N810's sliding keyboard.

    [​IMG]
    (view large image)

    You hold the device between your two hands and type with your thumbs. Because of its relatively generous size, this is easier to use than the ones on smaller smartphones, even devices like the AT&T Tilt or Sprint Mogul.

    If you want more, you'll probably have the option of hooking up an external Bluetooth keyboard. Previous models in this series could, but no one at Nokia I asked about this was quite sure.

    And just to be clear, the N810 has a touchscreen, so you won't have to depend on the D-pad to select items on the display.

    There's Room for Improvement

    This handheld runs Nokia's Linux Maemo operating system on a 400 MHz OMAP 2420 processor. Nokia is actively encouraging developers to create applications for this platform on www.maemo.org, and so far the response has been fairly good.

    This is nice to hear, because developers are an important part of Nokia's strategy for the N810. The company has created a base model, and hoping others will flesh it out. For example, this device comes with a built-in camera but no software application that can access it. Nokia is hoping one will be written by a third-party developer.

    The same goes for working with Microsoft Office files. An N810 fresh from the factory does not include the software you need to view Word or Excel documents that come in as email attachments.

    More Features

    A GPS receiver is built into the N810, and it comes with a basic set of maps. You'll have to pay more if you want advanced navigation features, like turn-by-turn directions.

    It has 2GB of internal storage, and you can add to this with miniSD memory cards. It supports SDHC, and Nokia says it has tested it with 8GB cards.

    The N810 has an official battery life of 4 hours under "typical use", meaning playing movies or surfing the Web, or 10 hours when playing music only.

    Stay Tuned

    Nokia is expected to start shipping the N810 Internet Tablet in mid-November with prices starting at $480.

    I've asked Nokia for a N810 loaner unit, and hopefully we'll have a full review of the device in the near future.


     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. Tiffany Boggs

    Tiffany Boggs Editor/Site Admin Senior Member

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    After using the N800 for a while, I think the keyboard on the new N810 would be a welcoming change. This little tablet looks great for checking emails on the go or surfing the Web as Ed mentions. Its predecessor the N800 was, so I am sure this model only has improvements.
     
  3. weinilourson

    weinilourson Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I am very interested in this tablet. If only there is good software to support office documents, I would definitely buy it...
     
  4. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy FORMER Editor, TabletPCReview Staff Member

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    I'm hoping a company with experience at creating mobile Office suites, like DataViz or Quickoffice, will bring their application to this series of devices.

    I'm also interested to see how well it handles Google's Docs & Spreadsheets.
     
  5. pibach

    pibach Scribbler - Standard Member

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  6. Bruce Banner

    Bruce Banner loving you long tim

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    Can you please give your opinions on how this stacks up against the asus eee pc? they're in the same price range and seem to serve similar purposes.


    is anyone else wondering the same thing?
     
  7. pibach

    pibach Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The Asus is a mini laptop running Linux. It has a standard Intel CPU (Celeron M, 900 MHz). Comes with a Windows-lookalike Linux distribution (Xandros) which is based on Debian. You can run any of the zillion Linux apps on it.

    The n810 is a pocketable mobile Internet device. It is much smaller. Has a Samsung 400 MHz processor with ARM architecture. The Asus' Celeron M might be roughly 3 times faster. Maemo is a ARM branch of Linux kernel 2.6. Also all Linux apps should potentially run on this device, but some might be too resource intensive, e.g., throwing an Open Office suite on it might end in sluggish performance.
     
  8. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy FORMER Editor, TabletPCReview Staff Member

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    I put together a chart to allow people to quickly compare the Asus Eee PC vs. Nokia N810:

    [​IMG]

    The short form: the Eee PC is more powerful, the N810 is more portable. Choose which one you think is more important.
     
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