San Francisco (CA) – Nokia today rolled out a new Internet tablet, which has evolved into a portable entertainment platform that comes with a slide-out keyboard and a GPS receiver.
The new N810 is not quite what we would call a revolution, but it is a solid improvement over the preceding N770 and N810 tablet PCs and pretty much represents what Palm’s recently scrapped Foleo companion device should have been.
The N810, as its predecessors, only works as a stand-alone Internet tablet as long as there is a Wi-Fi hotspot in range. The new device will work with Boingo Wireless, Earthlink and The Cloud locations, Nokia said. When there is no hotspot available, the tablet will connect to a cellphone via Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR and retrieve and send data over a cellular network.
While the device lacks the actual connectivity of a cellphone and therefore remains a device you would have to carry around separately, it could become an interesting device for users who are looking for a bit more PC-like functionality than is available in smartphones such as Palm Treos or an Apple iPhone. First, there is a relatively large slide-out keyboard that promises more convenience in communication and entertainment applications: Nokia says that the N810 enables users to make VoIP calls (via Skype or video chats via Gizmo), check email, stay in touch with social networks, watch videos on YouTube or update a blog.
The technology behind the N-tablet has received some upgrades, but hasn’t changed much: The TI2420 OMAP processor now runs at 400 MHz instead of 330 MHz, Wi-Fi is still supported with 802.11 b/g standards, DDR is still at 128 MB and internal flash memory still at 256 MB. The screen remained at a 4.13” size, providing an 800x480 pixel resolution at 225 dpi. The operating system is still a Debian/GNU-based Linux called “Maemo”, but has been updated with a new Kernel and is now called Internet tablet OS 2008, instead of 2007. Internal memory is rated at up to 2 GB, while the device also supports SD and SDHC flash memory cards with up to 8 GB capacity.
Besides the new keyboard, the most significant addition to the N810 is a built-in GPS receiver, which can be upgraded to Wayfinder's voice-guided navigation to allow turn-by-turn directions.
The N810 is expected to become available in November for a suggested retail price of $479.