Archive for July, 2008

RE: We Want A Dead Simple Web Tablet For $200. Help Us Build It.

Original Article: We Want A Dead Simple Web Tablet For $200. Help Us Build It.

Michael Arrington wants a web tablet for $200.  Looks like he wants a Nokia n800 or a n810.  The n800 is now LESS than $200, and though the n810 is $400, it adds built-in GPS, free turn-by-turn directions using Maemo Mapper, sunlight-readable screen, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.  Why does he want to re-invent the wheel?

I’ve been using a n810 for a couple months now, and I absolutely LOVE it.  The ablility to tether to a bluetooth phone and use it for internet access is awesome.  It gives me cellular provider independence.  Change providers, change phones, but don’t have to change the Nokia Internet Tablet.  And the super-sharp screen is amazing.  The only problem I’ve had is finding someone to test the video calling with.  No one I know personally uses Skype or Gizmo.  So I’m stuck testing the VoIP audio alone.

Here is a picture of Gizmo5 running on my n810:

Gizmo5 on Nokia n810

I had to take it with my phone, then transfer it via bluetooth to the tablet, then email it to my desktop, because I get NO cell phone signal down here in the dungeon.  Still, it only took a few seconds to do.  I like Gizmo5 because it is a nice multi-protocol chat client, PLUS does the VoIP thing like Skype.  Video calls, callout to landlines, etc.

The tablet actually belongs to my employer.  I use it to VPN to the company network for administrative purposes.  I can remote desktop servers, workstations, unlock user accounts, etc.  The screen’s too small for complex stuff, but is fine for the majority of simple operations that I do on a nearly daily basis.  Throw in the fact that it’s an excellent ebook reader, email client, web surfer, and GPS, and you have the device that I have a hard time doing without.

It’s not without it’s flaws.  The user interface needs work.  It’s clunky in places.  The buttons in most programs (including the home screen and control panel) are too small for fingers.  And the built-in apps are spare to say the least.  Still, there’s a great developer community, and each iteration of the Nokia Internet Tablet (NIT) continues to improve.

So stop trying to re-invent an already incredible product.  Just go buy one!

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