Review: Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

I just got my hands on the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet (with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) and I want to keep it. I can’t though because I promised Nokia I would send it back to them after posting this review.I just got my hands on the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet (with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) and I want to keep it. I can’t though because I promised Nokia I would send it back to them after posting this review.

nokia tablet

Here’s what I like about the device:

(1) Small and light: according to the specifications, it measures 141 x 79 x 19 mm and weighs 230 g. For those of you in the States, that’s 5.5 x 3.1 x 0.7 in and 8 ounces. That means it is easier to carry around than a laptop if you want to browse the Web, read email and blogs on your newsreader.

(2) Great interface and easy access to main applications: Nokia had to make of decisions about what this device is best used for. They did not clutter it up with 101 applications, little buttons everywhere or difficult navigation screens. The main applications are:

– web browser (Opera)

– rss news reader (for blogs)

– email client

– audio player

– video player

For one week I used the device at home on my Wi-Fi network and in a Wi-Fi cafe, and indeed, these applications were what I used most. By day 3, I found myself attached to it. So while eating breakfast I would put it right by my side and listen to podcasts from Kenradio and Om Malik.

When I am away from my computer, I use it to read blogs, browse the web, and look at video podcasts. Because it is so portable, you do take it around with you and use it. Great for quick browsing, email checking and blog reading.

(3) Crisp screen: my eyes are quite bad and getting worse with age so screen quality is important. The 770 has an 800 x 480 screen resolution (measures 4.13 inches diagonally) with up to 65,536 colors. I was surprised at how bright and crisp web sites looked on the 770. Reading Muniwireless news reports did not put any strain on my eyes.

(4) Excellent PDF reader: I was also pleasantly surprised to see that they included a PDF reader. I read a lot of documents and with the screen so crisp and bright, again, it was easy on my eyes.

(5) Wi-Fi access quick and painless: the 770 sniffed out 7 wireless networks around my home office. My MacMini can sniff out only four. You click on the desired network, enter the password and you’re in.

(6) Input via handwriting recognition or “keyboard”: there is no keyboard, unlike the Treo or the Blackberry. You enter text and numbers via a “virtual keyboard” which is shown on the screen and you do this with a stylus. The 770 also includes handwriting recognition software so you can actually write out the text. I tried this and the results were not satisfactory. I have very good handwriting (11 years in a Catholic girls’ school run by Belgian nuns) so I know that the problem lies with the 770. If your handwriting resembles chicken scratch, do not even try this.

(7) Speed: it’s not as fast as I initially expected – web pages load more slowly than on my Mac, emails also take a while to pop up, but it’s not so slow that it’s unacceptable. Given that this is only version 1 of the 770, I’m actually impressed and can’t wait for the next one to come out.

(8) Great on a citywide Wi-Fi network: okay, I have not tested this on a citywide network but I see myself using this regularly on a city- or countywide network. I also see this as good device for municipal employees such as building inspectors, precisely because it is so portable, easy to use and has Wi-Fi built in. With good mobile office and database applications for government use, this could be THE device of choice for many cities and counties that are currently rolling out networks. Best of all, it runs on the Linux-based Internet Tablet 2005 software.

(9) Reasonable price: you can buy it from Nokia online for $359.99 in the US and 359 EUR in the Netherlands (they sell in other EU countries, too).

(10) Passes the Muniwireless Handbag Test: this is a critical test and the reason why the 770 is my favorite portable device. Check out the photos below. It fits in two of my favorite handbags, a tiny Bally shoulder bag (next to my Mac Mini to give you an idea of how small the bag is) and my latest acquisition, a woven handbag from Paule Ka’s 2006 spring collection.

nokia 770 tablet

nokia 770

Comments

  1. Great article in WSJ about whqat you’ve done. Thought I’d point out a grammar error easily fixable:

    Applications is brought to you by:

    Should be “are”

    http://muniwireless.com/applications/1036/

  2. Hi,
    My name is Rey Del Rosario and Im the Managing Director of Technology One. We are the pioneer in wifizone solutions in our province (in the Philippines) and the smallest among the present one in terms of capital.
    We would like to link with you in market development and new product development.
    Your latest about Nokia is very interesting, is there a way we can contact Nokia Philippines to allow us also to negotiate with them to try their product in our wifi systems. Looking forward to your reply.
    Thanks.

    rey

  3. […] Last February, I posted a review of the Nokia 770 Tablet which is Linux-based and Wi-Fi enabled. I loved the crispness of the screen and its size — small enough to pass the Muniwireless Handbag Test (click here to see review and photos). Nokia has just posted an upgrade to the operating system on the Nokia 770 website. The upgrade makes applications on this device run much faster. […]