Quick Nokia N800 Review

I finally got to installing the applet to take screenshots, so here they are:

Desktop

It runs a resolution of 800×480 which is a 5:3 display aspect ratio. I switched to this theme, the default one was much darker. On the desktop I have an RSS feed reader, Google / Wikipedia search, clock, contacts (didn’t set up my GoogleTalk or e-mail yet), and an applet that controls the media player’s “Internet Radio” section. In the upper right you can see a Bluetooth status indicator, display settings, sound settings, connection manager, a screenshot applet that shows the CPU load and memory consumption…and then magically disappears for the second that the screenshot is being taken, and a power status indicator. When the N800 is connected to a computer via USB it shows on the far left of that applet tab.

Battery

The battery outlasts my MacBook’s on normal usage and charges really quick, I’m sure that you could look into getting a longer lasting battery if you wanted, Nokia already has some accessories out for it.

Menu

Here’s a shot of the menu.

Keyboard

There’s an on-screen (virtual) keyboard that’s easy enough to use. It also supports some Bluetooth keyboards, but you can always be creative. Touching the screen with one of your fingers instead of the stylus will bring up a larger virtual keyboard that can be typed on with your fingers or thumbs.

Handwriting

After “training” it to recognize my handwriting, which is very easy and has many shortcut features, it stopped mis-guessing what I’m typing and I have it down pretty well, the word prediction is really nice too. It will remember new words that you enter that it doesn’t know yet, so in the future they are available. If you are at a password prompt it does not list word options and does not remember what you tell it in the word list, you can have it save your passwords but I’m used to not saving passwords. It displays the character for a short period of time and then changes it to an asterisk.

apt-get

Here’s some neat Linux info on it, Nokia’s Internet Tablet OS 2007 Edition is built off of Debian for an ARM CPU.

BusyBox v1.1.3 (Debian 3:1.1.3-3.osso17) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter ‘help’ for a list of built-in commands.

~ $ uname -a
Linux Nokia-N800-51 2.6.18-omap1 #2 Tue Dec 19 18:41:02 EET 2006 armv6l unknown

The Application Manager is just a GUI (Graphical User Interface) to apt-get and dpkg, which is how you install applications, from .deb files and repositories.

The built-in camera is pretty cool, and it comes in clear when you’re in a well light environment. The camera hides away in a bulge that’s on the back of the tablet, which I think is very ergonomically suitable and helps it fit the hands better. The hardware buttons are easy to use and they don’t get bumped easily, there’s even a zoom-in, zoom-out, and fullscreen button on the top of the tablet. The speakers are way better than those of any laptop I’ve ever owned, they are loud and clear. The fold-out stand is handy for setting it on a table where it is still visible and usable, who wants a tablet that lies flat on a table? Not I.

That’s the end of my quick review on the Nokia N800, now go buy one and contribute to making me some sweet apps.
=D

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