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Nokia unveils Linux-powered N810 Internet Tablet

Oct 17, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 15 views

Nokia has announced a new version of its Linux-based Internet tablet. The N810 is smaller, heavier, and faster than the older N800, with new features that include a slide-out hardware QWERTY thumb keyboard, GPS receiver, FM transmitter (for in-car listening), and a light-sensing screen dimmer.

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The N810 is slightly smaller than its predecessor, the N800, and slightly heavier, leading users to “perceive more value” in the device, predicts Olavi Toivainen, Nokia's director of product management. However, under the hood, the devices are substantively similar, with the newer device's processor merely clocked a bit faster.


Nokia N810 Internet Tablet photo gallery
(Click each thumbnail for a larger view)

The N810 is the first of Nokia's Internet tablets to integrate a GPS receiver, although a GPS add-on was available for earlier tablets. The N810's auto-dimming screen could help improve readability in environments such as cars, with variable ambient light conditions. Additionally, the N810's screen is reportedly 20 percent brighter.

The N810 will come with free maps specific to the country of purchase, according to Toivainen. Optional voice-controlled navigation will be available as a $120/3-year third-party add-on from WayFinder, which will offer a free 7-day trial in the U.S.

The N810 is also the first of Nokia's Linux-based tablets to feature a full Mozilla-based browser, although a user-installable Mozilla-based browser was available for the N800. The new device's browser aims to let users enjoy the most sophisticated “Web 2.0” social networking sites with an experience very similar to Firefox on the desktop, Nokia says.

The N810's browser has a Flash 9 plugin, and supports “class 8 and 9” AJAX (asynchronous Javascript and XML), something no other mobile device can do, Toivainen claims. A browser abstraction layer is still there, leaving the door open to WebKit-based browsers in the future. However, Opera is no longer present on the device.

Also new is support for Windows Media codecs, enabling users to access more of the Internet's multimedia offerings, Nokia says.

Other software enhancements reportedly include:

  • A refresh of the Rhapsody client; “Rhapsody has been nicely improved, especially in terms of editorial content,” said Toivanien.
  • Gizmo supports videochat with PCs users.
  • The device's Skype support has been refreshed, making the N810 “one of the best Skype phones out there,” according to Taivanien.
  • Devicescape's easy login client supports more networks than ever, now including hotspots from Boingo (about $8/month in the U.S.), Earthlink, The Cloud, and many more.

Missing in the new N810 is Nokia's promised WiMax support, although WiMax-enabled N-series devices are likely to be distributed through Sprint as it rolls out service areas next year.

What's under the hood?

Like the earlier N800, the N810 is based on a Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP2420 SoC. Whereas the N800 was clocked at 320MHz, the N810 ups the clock to 400MHz.

Like the older N800, the N810 boasts a 4.13-inch 800×480 color touchscreen, 128MB of RAM, 256MB of flash, and two SD card slots supporting cards up to 8GB apiece.

Touted hardware features and specifications include:

  • Processor — TI OMAP 2420, clocked at 400MHz
  • Memory — 128MB DDR RAM; 256MB flash
  • Storage:
    • 2GB internal memory
    • Expansion slot supports flash cards up to 8GB; compatible with miniSD and microSD with extender
  • Display — 4.13-inch widescreen LCD; 800×480 pixel resolution; 65K colors
  • Ambient light sensor adjusts screen brightness and keyboard lights according to light conditions
  • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard; on-screen (soft) keyboard also provided
  • Built-in web camera
  • Connectivity:
    • 802.11b/g WiFi
    • USB 2.0 via micro-connector
    • Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR
  • Audio:
    • Built-in microphone and stereo speakers
    • 3.5mm A/V connector (stereo audio output)
  • Built-in web camera
  • Built-in GPS receiver and antenna
  • Built-in FM transmitter
  • Hardware key to lock touchscreen and keys
  • Power:
    • 1500mAh rechargeable removable battery
    • Continuous usage — up to 4 hours
    • Always online — up to 5 days
    • Standby time — up to 14 days
    • Music playback — up to 10 hours
  • Dimensions — 5.04 x 2.83 x 0.55 inches
  • Weight — 7.97 ounces

Hardware similarities should simplify porting existing Maemo software to the N810's Tablet OS 2008 Linux OS. The Tablet OS 2008 SDK also supports the older N800 tablet, suggesting Nokia will offer Tablet OS 2008 for the older N800 at some point.

Ari Virtanen, VP of convergence at Nokia, stated, “The Nokia N810 packs the power of a traditional computer into a pocket-sized format. [It] offers users a true Web 2.0 experience [and] connects people to what matters to them.”

Nokia's (rather hyperactive) promotional video on YouTube
(Click image to play video)


Some initial impressions of the N810 can be found at MaemoApps.com, here.

Availability

The N810 is expected to ship in November, priced at about $500.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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