All entries for Tuesday 22 January 2008

January 22, 2008

Nokia N810 alternatives

Follow-up to Nokia 810 – more thoughts from Steve's blog

There’s already been a discussion over in the comments on a previous entry about the iPod Touch as a possible alternative. The screen is lower resolution, but possibly better quality. The iPod’s Safari browser is almost as good as the Nokia’s Opera browser. The iPod multi-touch interface is nicer to use. If you want a media player with a browser as a secondary function the Touch could well be what you are after.

I noticed a few other products announced at CES this year. There seems to be a new category of “Mobile Internet Devices” (MIDs). Aigo and Gigabyte showed devices that look a lot like the Nokia. They both have a slightly bigger screen (4.8” compared to the Nokia’s 4.1”, which is higher resolution too (1024×600). They both have a slide-out keyboard which seems to have bigger keys, but with the same problem of lack of space above the top row. They are both Linux based, but each runs a different version. These devices are expected to be released in the second half of 2008, so don’t go looking for them just yet. It will be interesting to see how they compare to the Nokia, which has had this market pretty much to itself so far, and how Nokia reacts. Lets hope competition results in functionality going up and costs coming down:-)

There are alternatives in different sizes too. If you want an ultra-portable laptop, lots of people are raving about the Asus Eee PC. There will be competitors to this coming along soon, too. Not pocketable, but very, very portable. I’m almost tempted to buy one for home.

And the whole UMPC product range, as stupidly priced as it is, has some fans. They at least run familiar software, so make a good platform when compatibility is important with applications back in the office.

For me, pocketable is important, so I’ll be sticking to the newly named MID products. I quite like the looks of the Gigabyte device, so it will be interesting to see how it compares to the Nokia, when it is eventually released.

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