One of the key functionality that I look for from the devices that I buy is the capability of my device to display mobile sites seamlessly. Rendering and display size matters more than any other key feature. For the Nokia N800, I get to switch between mobile and desktop views without compromising the layout and readability of the mobile site that I’m currently viewing.
Upon seeing the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, the first question that came to me was “where do I place my SIM card?”. But sorry Nokia cellphone fans, this gadget is not a cellphone nor has it any mobile phone capabilities.
At first it was very odd and confusing that a $350 gadget from a leading cellphone manufacturer is not equipped with any phone capabilities. It was even more surprising since Nokia’s N-series boasts a line of feature-packed mobile phones. Since the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet is not a mobile phone, but it does not intend to replace them but to complement them instead.
According to TabletBlog.com,
The Nokia N800 Internet Tablet is not a PDA, ultra-mobile PC, smartphone, or eBook reader. It is an Internet Tablet…the device was built from the ground up to focus on Internet functionality.
The Nokia N800′s main purpose is to provide its end-users Internet functionalities such as web browsing, email, instant messenging, internet radio, and internet calling.
The Nokia N800 is a classy and elegant-looking device. I love the combination of black plastic and metal. The material used in this gadget is also rigid. You can be assured that the device won’t creak or break with ease.
The limited number of buttons gives the Nokia N800 a clean and uncluttered look. The ergonomics of the over-all design is also good. The position of the buttons were also appropriate.
When browsing, the Nokia N800 can utilize both the stylus and the navigational button to navigate across the page. When using the navigational button, what it does is to change and high light the active item (or link) which is a bit stressful when viewing pages loaded with links or pages with a very long vertical length. Though the problem can be solved when using the stylus, but it can sometimes leave annoying scratches (can be wiped off) when dragging the stylus across the LCD screen. It would have been better if the device is equipped with a jog dial (similar to Sony Ericsson‘s).
Operating System and Interface
The Nokia N800 runs on a Debian GNU/Linux distribution called Maemo. This makes the Nokia N800 more robust in terms of software functionality. A lot of software binaries for Maemo are distributed online for FREE.
The interface is also easy to navigate. The home screen features an interface where you can mount different applets on your tablet’s desktop. Navigational buttons are also available for web browsing, internet communication and for installed software applications.
Built-in Software Applications
The Nokia N800 is pre-installed with an e-mail application, instant messenger which can accommodate text, audio and video, skype application, and an opera web browser. Most of these applications are easy to use. The Nokia N800′s Email application can support both POP and IMAP email communications. I tried using GMail and Google Apps Email on the N800 at it works fine.
The instant messenger used by the N800 supports GTalk and Jabber. Since I’m using the Google Apps’ Jabber feature, I tried connecting to my service using the Jabber option. It can be used to chat with your contacts using text and voice. It also retrieves your contacts list and automatically integrates it with your contacts application and email application.
The web browser uses Opera as its engine. For the firefox fans, you can also try replacing the Opera engine with a Mozilla distribution for Maemo. You may see it here.
The Skype application can support both audio and video chat. I have not figured out yet how to operate the video feature but the voice chat is quite good.
The Nokia N800′s stereo speakers are also good. The sound doesn’t have distortions at high levels. The maximum volume level is also loud enough to be heard on a public place. (Of course this evaluation is relative to one’s hearing capacity and environment). The device is also equipped with a 3.5mm Audio Jack socket where you can plug your earphones, unlike with other mobile phone models which use a different connector for the earphone.
The tablet’s screen is 4.1″ which is big enough for browsing. It operates at an 800 x 480 screen resolution. The thing, it can only 65k colors which is very small compared to other devices available in the market. My mobile phone alone can display 256k colors.
The gadget is also equipped with a VGA camera hidden at the upper left corner. The camera is not that good. Distortions and noise are visible on the image taken by the VGA Camera. I hope Nokia can work on this one.
The N800 can connect using WiFi and Bluetooth. The device can support both 802.11 b/g types of WiFi networks. Aside from the WiFi, it can also connect to the internet using your bluetooth connected phone as a modem for internet communications.
I also tried using Microsoft’s Internet Sharing feature to share my wired internet connection from my laptop and it works fine.
The Nokia N800 offers better Internet experience compared to other mobile phones available in the market. The N800 is also robust that it can be used beyond its internet functionalities. In terms of mobility, the N800 is comparable to an office computer on top of your palm. It can perform basic PC operations while you are on the go. This gadget is best suited to those heavy internet users like me.