Monday, October 22, 2007

Nokia's New tablet...revisited

So the cat is finally out of the box and Nokia has come clean on its new Tablet. This was just a scant 10 months after they had introduced their second generation tablet, the n800. Although pundits seem to be saying this is not technically a third generation but a 2.5. Why? Because the guts of the machine are almost the same (except they over-clocked the processor, or underclocked the n800's depending on perspective) and they slapped on a nice slide-out keyboard (finally!) and a GPS chip. So does it address some the issues I outlined in my previous post, let's take a look.
  1. Out of the box web browsing experience: Looks like Nokia has been listening, they've replaced the close sourced Opera browser with Mozilla/Firefox variant which is able to handle sites like Google Docs with ease, judging from ThoughtFix's videos over at tabletblog, youtube seems to work fine. Nokia has also finally added more video codecs so let's hope that videos on certain webpages will play just fine. Page rendering seems to have been alleviated with a snappier processor. Again, I'm going to reserve judgement on this though until I actually have one in my hand to test.

  2. Media Player: It still looks like something that's been thrown together. Nokia really needs to put some more time/money/man power into developing this thing into something usable.

  3. Email: Still the same crappy email client. This is not good, especially with the introduction of the keyboard. People will want to use email more and more with such a device. Of course there's always be webmail, but really, if that's the case, why even give us such a crappy client to begin with?

  4. Non-symbiotic relationship: we're still tethered to the desktop to do OS/firmware updates. bleh.

  5. GUI: Same ol' same old. Obviously, no one in Nokia's maemo division has picked up an ipod touch/iphone and see what consumers are readily getting used to with finger gestures and the ability to forgo the use of a stylus.

  6. Transflective screen (viewable in the sun): YES! Finally, someone in the design team decided not to go cheap on us.

They've also thrown in GPS and maps which is a nice touch, except to unlock all of its potential, you have to pony up more cash to subscribe to the features.

Now here's the kicker, the n800 has started to become a lot cheaper on various online stores. You can find it as little as 230 bucks at How much does Nokia want for the n810? 480 bucks. That's more than double for essentially a keyboard, GPS chip, and a transflective screen. Not to mention that you lose dual-full size SD card slots (from the n800) to one mini-SD card slot and non-removable 2GB flash memory onboard. Which to some might seem like an ok trade-off, but to most users that were looking to upgrade from the n800, looks like a downgrade.

Had Nokia released this tablet as its first iteration rather than the third, it might be a revolutionary product, but as it stand now, I'm not that super-excited about purchasing such a device for such an expensive price.