Nokia N810: Touch & Go


In a previous post this unabashed Apple user wrote that he would be passing on the iPod touch and opting instead for the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, sight-unseen. Now, after actually using the thing for about a week, I’m not so sure…

For productivity the N810 beats the iPod touch hands-down — despite my particular unit having a bizarro QWERTZ keypad it was still orders of magnitude more usable than Apple’s virtual stand-in. And though the N810 is not a phone per se, Skype comes pre-installed — just be aware that you won’t be able to use it for video calling with the tablet’s front-mounted camera.

Top Gear

For media consumption there’s less of a clear winner here. The iPod obviously benefits from being a part of the iTunes ecosystem. The N810 makes do playing standard MP3s and streaming audio, notably a slick client called Vagalume.

Continuing its proud tradition of Mac support, Nokia has ported its Internet Tablet Video Converter Tool to OS X. Results were okay, but paled in comparison to the specific output requirements for the iPhone & iPod touch. Codec fanatics can see details of the Nokia version here, and compare and contrast to what HandBrake can do here. I’ll just say that the iPhone/touch-friendly video had none of the motion artifacts that I saw on the Nokia.

As far as I got with Android...

Where the N810 leaves iPhone & iPod in the dust is the very moment it steps up to don the role of l33t hax0r sidearm. And that’s where this n00b found it the most frustrating.

Elsewhere on the web tablet gurus have displayed their mad Maemo skillz by installing such entirely useless things as the Windows 3.1 OS; truth be told, this guy bricked WOM World’s N810 for an entire weekend almost immediately after grabbing this screen.

Getting the beta of Google’s smartphone OS up and running is proving to be an unofficial litmus test of Nokia tablet mastery. I’m clearly not worthy, but if you think you’ve got what it takes then step on up!

And if not you can live vicariously through my Flickr photo and screen grab set.

By Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?


  1. Because they can?

    Actually, I think it’s a Finnish thing — I’m grateful the Operating System was in English at least!

  2. Hi I was wondering how you have settled into the N810? I am torn between the two and am veering towards the N810. How well does it work with the Mac?

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