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Nokia N810 and 770 Internet Tablets

James F. Carter <>, 2006-03-24, updated 2008-03-15

The Nokia N810 is a handheld computer, with a display of 800x480 pixels and 16 bit color, a touch screen for stylus input, a slide-out keyboard, sound, a camera, a GPS receiver, and wireless networking, both 802.11b/g and Bluetooth. Your first impression will be that it's a PDA, a little larger than usual. The N810 appeared on the market about December 2007. The term N-Series includes Nokia's recent cellphone handsets plus the N810 and its earlier siblings; in this document when I refer to the N-series I am referring collectively to the Internet Tablets, not the cellphones.

In January 2007 the Nokia N800 was released. Its major new features are a camera and a faster processor. It has an integral table stand, which does not get in your way when you hold it. The screen cover of the 770 is gone.

The original model in this product line is the Nokia 770, appearing about January 2006 and no longer available. This commentary was first written to describe the 770, but most of the comments apply equally to the newer models. I have updated it where needed to apply to my newly acquired N810.

Reviewers always say, the N-Series machines are from Nokia but are not phones. They are not sold with PDA software. So what are they for? The glib answer is that it's for whatever you want, because it runs Linux and you can install software on it.

Here are four sample usage scenarios. I was reading one review of PDAs and the author made effective use of a fictional scenario to show his vision for the Wired City, and the two fictional pieces show my own vision of how a handheld wireless device (not specifically the 770) can be useful.

To summarize the advantages of the Nokia N-Series as seen by me:

Disadvantages of the N-Series (discussed in detail below) include:

Frequently in this document I refer to the Nokia 770; in Nokia docs and blogs they say the device. Dumb. It isn't a PDA, so let's coin a decent TLA for it. How about ITB for Internet Tablet.

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