Due to the heavy marketing by Apple and Amazon, you are surely by now familiar with the iPhone and Kindle. Those are very interesting devices, but I recently made a comparison between them and the new Nokia N810 and, in the end, went with the N810.
The iPhone is slick, but I did not want to be hobbled with a long AT&T cell-phone contract — monthly voice and data charges and fees really was not appealing. I have a cell phone for voice calls, but more and more I find myself using VOIP, especially Skype, for my voice calls. With an Internet connection this means I can make voice calls for free. Currently, making simple, free Skype or other VOIP calls is not possible with the iPhone. In addition, I live in a region with no cell phone service, so the thought of monthly cell phone charges is doubly discouraging. Also, the iPhone currently is a “closed” environment, meaning that the applications you can use on the phone are limited by Apple. Finally, I wanted a device that I could use to read documents, and doing so on a cell phone was really not practical.
The Kindle is really geared for reading ebooks, and its free EVDO connectivity option means that I can easily buy ebooks from Amazon. However, it is not a platform for making voice calls, its computer network and Internet access is limited, and it is also a closed platform for applications. But it is even lacking in the edocument arena, since it does not support the ubiquitous .pdf format. I have thousands of .pdf files, and so a device that does not facilitate reading my own documents is not very useful.
The Nokia N810 is the new Internet Tablet and is the newest generation, building on the N800 and N770. The N810 features a full keyboard, webcam, GPS, and Wi-fi network connectivity. Moreover, the operating system is built on Linux, and the Finnish company takes an “open” approach to developers and new software applications. To me, the N810 offered more features and had less undesirable features than either the iPhone or the Kindle.
The keyboard slides out from under the screen if you need to use it, but it also accepts screen inputs using the stylus or, like the iPhone, your finger. The screen is also larger and has a higher resolution than the iPhone’s, meaning images and text are clearer.
The desktop is very customizable – you can run desired applets, like the Google search bar, an Internet radio applet, or an RSS newsfeed applet.
Because the Nokia is taking an open approach with developers, a lot of new and useful applications are being developed for the device. Here is a music player customized for finger input just like on the iPhone.
Having builtin Wi-fi network connectivity means the WWW is just a click away.
The N810 also plays videos, via YouTube or video files on the device.
Other bonuses include a builtin GPS receiver and mapping application, Bluetooth, and memory expandable up to 10GB with an 8GB SD memory card.
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