My Shiny New Toy: The Nokia N800

IMG_0227I got a new toy today: A Nokia N800 Internet Tablet.

So far, I’m impressed with it. It has a lot of features that Nokia doesn’t publicize enough. For example, it has the ability to stream media from any computer that’s sharing media to the tablet, so you can listen to any of your music wherever you have the N800.

What’s more, it can even play media over the internet if you install their server software. So you could listen to music and even watch videos stored on your home PC while you’re in a hotel room far away. At least, that’s the theory; I haven’t tried this yet.

What I have tried is the browser. For a mobile device, the browser is excellent. It can handle Flash and Javascript, unlike most mobile devices (including the lofty iPhone). And since the screen is 800 pixels wide, most websites will fit onto the screen without any awkward zooming in/out functions like the mobile version of Opera.

The screen is beautiful on this thing. And the media player software plays videos very smoothly, even when streaming over the internet. It’s definitely better than my iPod. (I need to figure out how to get iTunes video files to play on the N800….)

It also has a camera that pops out of the left side which can be used for video chatting. At the moment, it works best calling from one N800 to another, but you can get a half-decent video chat to a PC using the Gizmo Project.

But the most exciting feature of the device is that it runs on Linux, and there’s a vibrant community of open-source software developers making some neat stuff for the machine. The weather widget in the photo above is actually an open-source project, not anything developed by Nokia, as is the maps program I’m trying out. The hacker community is having a lot of fun with this device.

My biggest disappointment with it so far is that I can’t get it to dial into the internet over EDGE with my Blackberry on AT&T, after about an hour of struggling with it. And Nokia made a couple of stupid UI design decisions which are a bit annoying. For example, there’s no way to lock those widgets you see in the photo above into place, so if you miss the scroll bar on the RSS reader widget by a pixel or two, you’ll end up dragging the whole box around the screen instead of moving the scroll bar.

But, these minor setbacks aside, I really like the N800. I think I’m going to end up finding a lot of uses for it in my everyday life.

3 thoughts on “My Shiny New Toy: The Nokia N800

  1. Pingback: Bookmarks Tagged Mobile

  2. Hi Jeremy
    So, did you ever figure out how to get iTunes video to play on your n800? I bought one and had the same question…
    Thanks,
    Jeremy Iggers