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Tech Review: Nokia n810 - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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September 10th, 2008

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02:08 am - Tech Review: Nokia n810
After much discussion and thought, I decided to replace my aging Sony Clie PDA with a Nokia N810. The screen is both large and wonderful and just the right size for reading both ebooks and web pages while still keeping the device small enough to fit in my pocket. I also love the keyboard. The n810 works as an excellent ebook reader and a fairly good music player, and I really like the web browser. It's also far from perfect - on it I have all my recipes, lots of PDFs of RPGs, and a bunch of ebooks in various formats. I need to use the web browser to read the recipes, while I use the ebook reader to read the ebooks and one of the PDF readers to read the PDFs.

It also runs Palm software on an emulator. I'm not a huge fan of Palm software, but from 6 years of using Sony PDAs, I've come to depend upon the Addresses and (especially) the Memos, and both of those hotsync perfectly. Given that I use Palm memos for jotting down addresses, shopping lists, gift lists, and all manner of similar things, it's become a fairly essential part of my existence, and keeping it is nice. Also, the fact that I can link the n810 to my phone means that I can now type SMS on a real keyboard rather than using the wretchedness that is T9.

In short, it's somewhat clunky and far from perfect [[1]], but it's also the best current device that I've seen. What I want is something like the Readius with a 5"-6" color VGA screen and either a capacitance touchscreen like the iphone or a thin slider keyboard that also folds up to be a phone and contains an autofocus camera and good GPS. However, nothing remotely like that exists yet, and likely won't for the next 3 years. So, from now until then, I'll be using my n810. If you like the keyboard on the iphone/ipod Touch better than this keyboard, that would likely be a better choice, and those devices are also better choices for people who use Macs, since they integrate wonderfully with them. OTOH, I use a Win XP machine and won't be changing anytime soon and the n810 works very well with that. It definitely has far more of a Babylon 5 tech feel, compared the Star Trek feel of the ipod Touch, but it seems to suit me more.

[[1]] As an example, I still haven't managed to get email working on the n810, which may be due to some basic lack of compatibility between it and Earthlink or may be some obscure bit of Linux nonsense that I don't understand.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC)
Huzzah! These little Nokias do pack so much usefulness into a small package, it's almost a shame they don't get more attention, but such is the way of the world. Still, good to hear you found something you can work with!

[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the update.
If it's virtual keyboards that people miss, the n800 might be more up their alley.
[User Picture]
Date:September 11th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
On the mobile front, I've gotten addicted to my Kindle, to the point that I've got half of my paperback collection earmarked for giveaways and suchlike :)
[User Picture]
Date:September 11th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
Ebooks are definitely the way to go. It's odd to think that in a decade I'll (for the first time in my life) have fewer physical books in my possession rather than more. By that time, I'll have to start thinking about home decor that isn't primarily bookshelves.

On a wholly unrelated note, you are going to CTT, correct? Could we (Becca, Alice, and I) perhaps impose on you for a ride back to the DC area afterwards? In any case, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing you there.

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