Friday, September 28, 2007

Nokia's third Internet Tablet

A few days ago, Nokia unofficially announced their third iteration of their internet tablet. Ok, they didn't announce it, but it showed up on the FCC testing radar. I truly hope Nokia makes a better product to the point that it hits critical mass. I do know they tried with their n800 model, but it became a niche player. Why? Because it was still targeted at the power-user set but they tried to market it to the everyday person. Here are the reasons why I held off on purchasing one, even though I do own its predecessor (the Nokia 770)
  1. If you're going to call it an internet tablet, it has to handle whatever the internet throws at it. This includes but isn't limited to the following:

    1. Be able to play youtube and the like smoothly. This should work out of the box without any types of tweaks.

    2. Speaking of video, any other types of embeded multimedia should also play flawlessly. That means quicktime videos, windows media videos, and the like. I know that's a minefield that a big corporation like Nokia could probably maneuver if they realized that the mass market isn't going to want some half-baked internet browser.

    3. Web Applications like Google Documents should be usable as much as it is on any plain old web browser

    4. Page rendering should be snappy. I shouldn't feel like I'm sitting on my old 486DX computer trying to browse the web. If I'm connected via broadband speeds, I should have a broadband web browsing experience. (This was not the case with the Nokia 770, trying to load something like slowed to a crawl)

  2. If Nokia is going to tout its tablet as also a powerful multimedia machine, it shouldn't release it with such a poorly designed, unintuitive and ugly media player.

  3. People still use Email, and good god, the email app on the maemo platform (the operating system that the these tablets run on) is horrendous.

  4. Non-symbiotic relationship with a desktop. If Nokia wants to set up an ecosystem with my desktop like Apple does with its iPhones and iPods, then great. There would be a reason for my to hook up my tablet to my desktop to sync stuff or whatever, but if its to be its own entity, why do I need to connect to my desktop to update its firmware?

  5. Easier user interface. The Maemo graphical user interface (GUI) is horrible. Its not very snappy, nor is it very intuitive. I hate to say it, but Apple did something Nokia didn't consider. If you're going to move to a touchscreen environment, then shouldn't be borrowing GUI elements that require a keyboard or a mouse. On top of which, get rid of the stylus. No one wants to peck at screen with a tiny stylus, especially if its on the go.

  6. Nokia marketed the internet tablet as something "on the go." If that's the case, why can I not read the screen when I'm outdoors? Get with it Nokia. Even your cell phones have better displays in the sunlight than the current tablets.

I'm sure there a ton more, but the "open-ness" of the platform that everyone loves, since its built on Linux, might also be its achilles' heel as well. A lot of the applications out there are ported over to be "good enough." But there isn't any killer app, besides, maybe Canola (a flashy multimedia player) that really shows off the strength of the tablet. Unless Nokia uses its corporate thinking to spruce up the platform a bit to the point that it will appeal to the masses and not the geeks. Here's hoping they figure that out sooner rather than later.

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