Hands on: Nokia N810 tablet

There’s been a lot of excitement at this show around Nokia’s new devices and the N810 tablet is probably the most drool-worthy of them all: every time someone from Nokia busts out one of these suckers at a party, people tend to crowd around and gawk. I can see why: this thing definitely has a “wow” factor not unlike that of the iPhone. In terms of dimensions, it’s actually not much larger than the iPhone, though it is quite a bit thicker and much heavier. Still, you get that nice QWERTY keypad, so it’s hard to complain. The screen is really bright and the colors look great–images definitely have a certain “pop” when viewed on this device. Also, Nokia’s Linux Maemo interface looks great, is very responsive and easy enough to use. Of particular note is the webkit-based browser, which is probably the best browser we’ve seen on a mobile device since the iPhone.

So what’s the catch? This thing has basically everything you could ever want in a mobile device–a touchscreen, QWERTY keypad, WiFi, GPS and 2GB of storage–except for a cellular radio. While you can make VoIP calls directly from the N810 or cellular calls from a Bluetooth-linked handset, you’re still going to have to carry around a regular old phone. The N810 could be a strong contender if it was the one device to rule them all but unless you’re the kind of person who’s surrounded by WiFi at all times, it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at a $500 price point. So, what’s Nokia’s strategy with this device then? I plan to ask them that today but I suspect that these sorts of tablets are aimed to prime the market for WiMAX devices.

Check out more photos of the N810:
– see our photo slideshow

More stories about iPhone   Nokia   Linux   User Interface (UI)  

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