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The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet back

Nokia770

I am rather amused with all the hypes and buzz on the internet in the last few days with the news that Microsoft has created some kind of portable gadget that allows people to access the internet, listen to MP3, watch movies etc. on the move. Unlike any other products coming out of their camp before, where you get to hear about every features and how they will be so good, this time round, the product has a name but absolutely no specifications whatsoever. I am of course talking about Origami

This new marketing style seems to take a page straight out of Apple's manual, and the product seems to be pitched directly or indirectly against the iPod too. Let's wait to see if Origami can compete with such an established product. We have to remember the iPodconcept is not simply the portable device you are carrying around. There are lots of other portable music players around, and yet none of them have managed to knock the iPod off its throne. Behind the Ipod, there is also a massive supporting infrastructure of iTunes, making the whole experience very seamless indeed.

It is good to have competition, as competition brings innovation.

In the mean time, I am already able to do all these things the Origami device seems to be capable of doing. I bought the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet a few months back, in fact as soon as it was available. This device allows me to access the internet wherever I am with the built in WiFi. I can listen to my music, I can watch movies, and I can read my email on the go. My life is complete really !

The other cool thing I like about the Nokia 770 is it has the biggest touch screen you can get on these portable devices, namely 800x480, which is comfortable for most web pages. The device itself is extremely thin and uses a standard mobile phone battery, thus lasting roughly a week through average use. You can slip it into your top pocket and it disappears, just like one of these new 3G phones.

For me personally, the following two features are the absolute clincher on why the Nokia is the perfect mobile companion:

  1. The built in web browser (Firefox lookalike, I think) is fully SSL capable, meaning I have full access to my on line bank accounts. Believe me when I say bank websites are very fussy about what kind of web browser you use, and I have not been able to access all of my on line accounts using any other mobile devices. The closest I have got is the Psion Netbook, but even that had problems with certain sites. The Nokia 770 does this with ease.
  2. Google maps works perfectly. For the more technically minded, Google maps uses this advanced web technology called AJAX, which allows web pages to be partially refreshed. This means the web browser on the Nokia 770 is just as capable as its desktop cousin. Why is this a big thing ? well, instead of carrying around another GPS enabled organiser, I can just use Google Maps to find out where I am and where the nearest eatery is. Anyone who has used a portable SatNav unit will agree with me Google beats the socks off any of them in terms of overlays and usability.
Maybe Origami can do all the above and more, but I will have to wait and see once this device has been road tested by other netizens first. If it is based on the PocketPC OS, then I am not too keen on having to hard reset it every other day (the Nokia 770 runs embedded Linux. In all the time I was using it, I have not seen it crash once), and having to remember to pop it into the recharging cradle every night (as mentioned above, the battery in the 770 last for the best part of the week, even if you are using the Wifi connection daily).

What don't I like about the Nokia 770 ? Well, it does not come with a built in Address Book. I managed to find one on the internet, but it does not support hot sync to anything, and I am too lazy to type in all my contacts again. I am sure I can knock together this missing feature easily enough if I have time, as the source code for this is available too, in the best spirit of open source software. Apart from this minor thing, it is a very capable device costing a lot less than a mobile phone (I picked it up for a bit more than £200).

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discuss (1 comment)
 by by David at 04 Mar 2006 23:50:39
Yep, the Nokia 770 is a great web browser and internet communication device. You can subscribe to RSS feeds from your favourite blogs and news sites, and get your diet of news during your bus ride on the way to work. Your comments on battery life sound a bit optimistic, yes the battery may last a week if you don't touch the device but for all-out browsing with wi-fi connection active you may only get 3 hours or so... Still, it may become the dominating device on the market, since it's here now, you can order it from Nokia, unlike the Origami, which may still be a few years off... BTW, feel free to visit my blog about Nokia 770 and other great things in life, it's at http://icct.blogspot.com/
by Varis at 05 Mar 2006 22:17:52
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