The Clog recently had the opportunity to play with review the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, and yet it was not nearly as exciting as we might have hoped.

At first it seemed like just another weird phone thing, but the box led us to believe that an Internet Tablet was exactly what we needed: no less, no more. Or maybe that was just the marketing.

In terms of its features, there’s a low-resolution Web cam that seems interesting, a pointy stylus that doubles as a concealed weapon and “Tetris” “Blocks.” We soon discovered “Mahjong,” also known as The Game We Couldn’t Stop Playing.

Our weekend-long sojourn with the Nokia N800 included time spent traveling through San Francisco and the UC Berkeley libraries, but it failed to deliver on half of what its name promises: Internet.

With an Apple iPhone or other wireless-capable non-computer device, and correct us if we’re wrong here, one can connect to the Internet through the cellular service of the phone itself, effectively ensuring Internet access wherever the phone has reception.

But with the Internet Tablet, since it’s not connected to a cellular service (though it will be in 2008), we are at the mercy of wireless hotspots, which everyone knows are few and far between in just the wrong places. Like a car or Wheeler Hall.

Add that to needing to use the stylus–or, when you lose it and its replacement, a well-refined finger–to individually type each letter and number and bizarre Greek symbol of your AirBears passphrase, and you suddenly have a whole new appreciation for just how much of your time the Internet consumes.

The gadget had its ups and downs, and if the Clog got to keep it we’re sure it wouldn’t sit in a corner collecting dust. But we’re not about to shell out $399 for something that can only connect to the Internet and play games or music, when the iPhone has the same price and features (sans pesky stylus) but with more reliable Internet access, more games and more aesthetic appeal.

* The Good: Pretty good battery life (about six to eight hours, depending on frequency of using the programs). “Chess,” “Blocks,” “Mahjong” and “Marbles” are plenty to occupy your time, though the stylus thing gets old pretty quickly.
* The Bad: Awkward size. Too big to rival an iPod, too small to resemble a PSP. Definitely not ergonomic.
* The Ugly: Doesn’t connect to the Internet without a wireless hotspot. Even in urban areas like the Bay Area, wireless does not saturate the areas quite as thoroughly as cellular reception.

Image Source: Krista Lane
Nokia N800 [Nokia Nseries]
Sprint to offer WiMAX-enabled Linux Tablet [Linux Devices]



Comments:
tabrez said:
Oct 4, 2007 at 3:13 am

Can iPhone do this?
1. Tune to FM stations
2. Read EBooks
3. Play media from streaming servers(UPnP and HTTP)
4. Connect to a computer through ssh and VNC
5. One instant messenger to handle msn, yahoo, google talk, icq and all other popular protocols
6. Play video in multiple formats(not just H.264)
7. Voice/Video chat? VoIP?
8. N800’s open development platform means more third-party apps than any other device in its category.

I see it like this:

a. Phone is most important to me: N95 or iPhone
b. Media Player is most important to me: iPod Touch or Zen Vision:W
c. I want a mini-PC/laptop: Nokia N800[VoIP phone or bluetooth+traditional phone, media player, basic PDA, Internet Tablet, etc]



ilovenokia said:
Oct 8, 2007 at 10:46 pm

you forgot copy paste.

i have the nokia 770 and its fucking great. the n800 can only be an improvement. and it doesnt actually cost 400.



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