Nokia N810 Internet Tablet

Having the internet with us at all times has become something most of us can’t live without and here’s one device that just might provide that for you from one of the biggest phone companies.

Having the internet with us at all times has become something most of us can’t live without. Whether it’s checking your email or updating your Facebook status, being connected is where it is. These days, net connectivity comes by default in most high end phones, but what if those phones just aren’t big enough for you?

Nokia think they might have the answer with the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, a device that has a lot in common with a phone but for one main obvious reason is not: it lacks a SIM card slot.

Without being able to use a SIM card, you might automatically brush the N810 off at first glance because out of the box it lacks that ability to connect with your provider. Well, that’s true for the device acting by itself but if you carry your mobile phone around with you – and let’s face it, most of us do – you can always link the two devices up using Bluetooth and get the Internet Tablet to run its web off of your phone.

Now a regular person might ask “how is this different from a laptop” and you’d have to say the one obvious thing you see when you look at it: it’s tiny (and your laptop isn’t).

It’s not just that, however, as the Nokia N810 could be served as an excellent Voice-over IP device with either the microphone or connections for a headset and use of the 802.11b/g wireless connectivity. There’s a camera for those of you inclined to take Skype out for a video run and if you’re on the go, you won’t need an extra GPS Navigator in your car because the N810 Internet Tablet comes complete with a SiRFStar III GPS receiver to show on it’s 4.1 inch screen.

I must admit that I was initially hyped up to see this device from the get go. I loved the idea that someone had taken the original huge Nokia Communicator phones I used to envy when I was younger and had made it into an easy to carry around book-sized tablet PC.

But then I played with it and my mind changed… quickly.

One of the biggest problems the Nokia N810 suffers from is speed: it’s just not fast enough. While you might think that the engineers at Nokia could have seen this thing coming, Linux just doesn’t run fast enough. It feels sluggish no matter what you do and browsing the web or writing emails isn’t the joy that you’d expect it to be. Instead, it’s more of a “huh, well that’s crap” sort of feeling with you racing back to the nearest laptop or Smartphone in favour of something that actually does the job.

While Nokia got the feel of the N810 right – a plastic body with shades of metal that feel like they’d last a while – they didn’t get usability. Sure, it has a keyboard in it but the moment you decide to use the touchscreen for any form of input, you instantly regret it. The operating system just doesn’t feel like it’s been fine tuned to work well.

What troubled me most about the N810 though was its lack of a SIM card slot. I just didn’t get it.

Here, Nokia had the chance to their legendary computer-in-a-phone series proud and make something that worked by itself. You wouldn’t need to connect it with an extra handset or rely on overpriced hotspots; you could just use your regular 3G broadband connection like you use with your dongle and it would be fine. You’d be able to make phone calls over VoIP and surf your Facebook easily without anything else with you… but it’s just not like that.

And so you find that the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet is half of a device. The design is just spot on with a fantastic feel and a great slide out QWERTY keyboard and an excellent screen. But then you’re let down by the insides, and unfortunately with a device like this, it’s the insides that truly count.

Product: Nokia N810 Internet Tablet

Vendor: Nokia

RRP: $689

Website: Nokia N810 Internet Tablet

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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