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March 25, 2008

Nokia N810 – more than its cracked up to be?

WASHINGTON, USA – Ever since the launch of the N770, Nokia has been breaking new ground with its Internet Tablets. The latest version, the N810, upped the ante even more, though not everyone can see the point.

Writing in the Washington Post, Rob Pegoraro takes the N810 for a spin
along with a Sony Mylo and reckons both devices “aim to split the
difference between laptop and phone”.

Rob highlights all the features of the N810 in his review and reckons the devices are “a lot like laptops, just lighter and smaller”.

One of the biggest benefits Pegoraro sees is Internet calling

“These gadgets’ greatest contribution to mobile Internet use may be putting Internet calling in a pocket-size package. Both include Skype’s software and hands-free headsets. With that, you can call almost anybody in the world for pennies a minute, a much cheaper alternative than wireless carriers’ exorbitant international-calling rates.”

Though he doesn’t lose sight of the N810’s reason for being

“And, like a lot of laptops and desktops these days, their primary reason for existence is Web browsing. As long as you can get a Wi-Fi signal, you can get to the Web.”

Not all is good in Pegoraro’s mind though, as he cites the lack of “any worthwhile contact or calendar software” as a bit of an oversight.

Overall, Pegoraro reckons the role of Internet Tablets isn’t what it appears to be and their true purpose lies instead in driving technology forward for the rest of us:

“Set aside the question of whether we should always be on the Web, everywhere. How many different Web-capable devices do you want to carry? We have a finite amount of space in our pockets and purses.

“In that sense, handhelds such as the N810 and the mylo invite their own extinction. They do their assigned jobs well enough, but other devices that we’re more likely to carry are ready to take over that work. The N810’s final role may be to test features that later wind up on Nokia’s cell phones, and the mylo may do the same for Sony’s PlayStation Portable, Walkman digital-media players and Sony Ericsson phones.

“That’s evolution in the gadget universe. Be happy that other people are willing to invest in the intermediate steps that get you closer to your own do-everything, take-everywhere Web”

An interesting perspective. What do you reckon?