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Handhelds Software Linux Hardware

Linux Tablet to be Released in Two Days 385

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the where's-my-review-unit-nokia dept.
Rambo writes "Nokia has finally set a November 17th US shipping date for the $359 770 Internet Tablet. It features a Debian-based distribution called Maemo, which includes kernel 2.6, X.org/Scratchbox WM, and GTK for easy porting of applications. Hardware specs are: 800x480 ) screen, 220 MHz TI OMAP ARM processor (with DSP), 64M of RAM, 128M of flash, USB slave port, 802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth, IR, and a RS-MMC slot. Even more details at LinuxDevices and Internet Tablet Talk. It sports a battery life of 3 hours for continous Wi-Fi usage, and accepts common Nokia phone batteries. Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Nokia, and am anxiously awaiting my own pre-order!"
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Linux Tablet to be Released in Two Days

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  • by suso (153703) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:44AM (#14034447) Homepage Journal
    but can it run a bash shell.
  • Thickness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dsginter (104154) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:46AM (#14034469)
    Does anyone know when these things will be down to the thickness of a standard pad o' paper? They're impossible to write on, otherwise. So, unless you specifically need to walk and write, these are pretty much useless.

    Or is it just me who has trouble writing on something so thick?
    • Re:Thickness (Score:2, Interesting)

      by littlecharva (924275)
      It's not so much the thickness of the tablets, as the lack of friction when writing. Surely a rubber nib to create a little bit of friction would make these things a little easier to use?
      • Re:Thickness (Score:3, Interesting)

        by GuyWithLag (621929)
        Lack of friction is good, as it means that your touchscreen isn't getting worn off or scratched.
        • Re:Thickness (Score:2, Interesting)

          by littlecharva (924275)
          Good point, but when I write using a real pen on a pad of paper I get friction, and my writing style has developed over the years to become acustomed to this, so when I try to write on a tablet it looks like the handwriting of a three year old. In fairness though, since I mainly type, even my best handwriting looks like it belongs to a nine year old.
      • Re:Thickness (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bastian (66383)
        Thay make little textured plastic screen protectors for PDAs. They're much nicer than the clear ones that most stores sell because that texture provides enough friction to make writing much easier - there was an overnight improvement in my Graffiti speed and accuracy.

        They're also much nicer than a rubber nib or a textured screen because the bit you're chewing up with all that friction is easily replaceable.

        But that's all beside the point - this thing doesn't appear to be a tablet PC so much as an internet
  • Which is great... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Delphix (571159) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:49AM (#14034488)
    except for the fact that tablets seem to have been DOA. They seem to have been a great idea looking for a use instead of some actual need driving them. Granted, a few people love em (as with any niche technology), but I have yet to meet anyone who actually wants one and uses it on a regular basis, and I work with a bunch of other technophile engineers... Laptops still rule the portable landscape.

    So this seems to me just like another Linux runs on ____________ story. (insert everything including a toaster in the blank)
    • Uh, 770 is not a tablet-PC (which suck). It's an internet-tablet, which is a completely different thing.
    • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedyNO@SPAMtpno-co.org> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:13AM (#14034713) Homepage
      Or maybe you haven't seen the need?

      I work at a dental office that's trying to go chartless. We use these things in the op for office visit documentation.

      My staff didn't want to use them the first week, then growled at me when I needed to take it for maintence ever afterwards.

      There are uses for tablets, but they aren't flashy or glamorous.
    • Every tablet I ever heard of ran Windows Tablet Edition.

      Perhaps there is a correlation.

    • by Eccles (932)
      The problem with tablets has been cost. Generally they cost twice as much as an equivalent laptop, and had at most a 12" LCD screen. Otherwise, I'd rather have a tablet than a laptop, since almost all can also be used in laptop style if desired. Tablethood is often an additional feature, not a different machine.
    • by mrchaotica (681592)
      The reason tablets haven't taken off is that they're too big and expensive. Once they can figure out how to make one with a letter (or A4) size screen that's only a quarter inch thick and costs less than $1000, then they'll start to take off.
  • I want something that can display a full page of an illustrated book and for under $200 - that will be a tablet I might buy.

    This thing is a fancy PDA, nothing more.
  • tablet pc and a PDA? I always considered Tablets to be much closer to laptops than they are to PDAs, but this device really looks like it is a lot closer to a PDA than a tablet. It's not that big, and the picture from TFA has a guy holding it with one hand.
    • by 10Ghz (453478) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:55AM (#14034559)
      As I said elsewhere: this is not a tablet-PC, this is an internet-tablet. It's roughly PDA-sized, and it's NOT "tablet-PC" Microsoft touted few years ago, and this is not a replacement for laptop.

      Just because it has the word "tablet" in it does not mean that it's a tablet-PC.
    • You're correct. Tablet PCs are basically equivalent to last years' laptop, plus handwriting recognition, plus Win XP Tablet edition, which is XP Pro plus the tablet features and minus nothing. If you swing out the keyboard and ignore the tablet features, it's a full laptop with a full version of Windows. Typical specs--1 GHz+, 1024x768, 512 MB, 40 GB--are closer to a laptop. This thing--220 MHz, 128 MB, no disk, less than 800x480--is closer to a PDA. Why they called it a "Tablet" is beyond me.
  • And the phone? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hajo (74449) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:50AM (#14034498) Homepage
    Where is the phone? My PDA saved my life professional life 10 years ago. Since then the best convergence has been with a phone for me. Now I would need to go back to a separate phone? No Thank you; I'll go for a pocketPC running skype and a functional phone build in.
  • Where are the reviews? Slashdotters are known to review new gadgets to be released well in advance. How come I have not seen any reviews of this item?
    • by Otter (3800)
      I give it 8/10.
    • Re:two days? (Score:2, Informative)

      by davidkv (302725)
      I've had mine for a little more than a week now (It was released earier i selected countries in Europe). I'm very happy with it. It means I can travel without my Thinkpad and not having to worry about reaching "my" servers in a secure fashion when I need to.

      You can find quite a few reviews and related stuff here: http://nokia770.com/ [nokia770.com]
  • I've got one! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dynamoo (527749) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:51AM (#14034516) Homepage
    I've had one for a week now. It's great.. except it doesn't reliably connect to my Netgear router at home, and everything else does including a Nokia 9500 Communicator.

    Sure, there's a lot of other traffic going on in the same frequency band with thing like the neighbour's wireless access points, DECT phones and the like but NOTHING seems to make this connect reliably.

    At work, with less interference I can connect just fine to a bog standard access point. Also, no problem with any Bluetooth phones (I use a Sharp).

    Despire the wireless connectivity issues - the 770 ROCKS. The 800 pixel wide screen is actually smaller than you'd think though, it's just very high resolution. The screen clarity is excellent. The web browser is excellent, plus there's a so-so RSS reader and an email client which I haven't used yet.

    The interface is quite simple and easy to learn, although a few minutes studying the slim manuals that come with it is a good idea. Windows users shouldn't have much trouble adapting.

    When I ordered mine I got a letter explaining that I was one of the first people to get a 770, and Nokia would like to have an interview with me to find out what I think, so I'll mention the wireless connectivity problems then. Other than that, it's great. Good quality web access no matter where you go, and it does a (limited) range of multimedia too.

    One thing I can't figure out.. how can they make something this sophisticated for that much money? They can't be making a profit on it!

    • Umm yes I *am* running on a different channel.

      Incidentally, the 770 supports WPA-PSK which is probably the level of security you need.

    • "how can they make something this sophisticated for that much money?"

      Look closely at the specs--it's a glorified Palm, that's how. Not putting it down, but seriously--check'em out: 220 MHz, 128 MB, 65k color screen, less than 800x600... I mean, yeah, it looks nifty, but it's not like they're somehow selling a 1.5 GHz, 512 MB, 40 GB, 1024x768x16.7M tablet for 1/4 the going rate.
      • Specs (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fm6 (162816)
        If you don't mean to put it down, you should pick a more positive word than "glorified". The Palm's limitations have as much to do with making it a practical portable tool as with keeping it cheap. Instead of trying to do everything, like the Newton, the Palm picks out some specific portable applications and makes them work on a system that you can carry around all day without recharging..

        That's also what this tablet tries to do. It's primarily for accessing the web and email. These are applications that

    • Re:I've got one! (Score:5, Informative)

      by sydney094 (153190) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:23PM (#14035963)
      I got mine Friday too (dev program)... The first thing I did was install xterm and get ssh running. After that, I spent most of my time squinting at the screen trying to read websites. I've had no problems connecting to my cheap Fry's access point with WPA/PSK.

      The device itself is pretty interesting. It doesn't actually turn off (unless you explictly tell it to). It doesn't even sleep in the traditional laptop way... it just turns off the screen and wireless (and sends the CPU into a type of sleep mode). That makes turning it back "on" instantaneous... and I like that.

      However, I have a few gripes with it. The screen (beautiful as it is), I think is actually too small. The screen is too small to hold the device at a comfortable distance away and actually read a website. You have to zoom the browser just to be able to read the text (at a comfortable distance). (Disclaimer: I am under 30 and wear glasses, so my vision isn't the problem). Also, there is no scroll wheel. This means that in order to scroll in Opera, you have to take the stylus (which is uncomfortable in and of itself) and click and drag the screen. With only a limited screen height, reading slashdot can be painful... more so than usual. The main buttons are also a little small, and force your hand into an awkward angle to use them. The directional pad is also blocked by the screen cover, so that makes clicking the left arrow a little difficult to use.

      Also, there is not enough RAM on the device. Reading a website like ESPN (lots of flash and graphics) will cause the device to slow down and display "Low memory" warnings. However, GMail works like a charm...

      I would have also liked to have seen a CF slot. My digital camera uses CF cards, and this would have made a great platform for viewing pictures. But this also goes back to the size... they went small and didn't have room for anything more than an RS-MMC.

      Final gripe: wireless is great for one location, but there is no easy way to configure the device to work in multiple locations. You can define wireless networks and wep/wsa-psk codes for each network, but there is no way to easy switch between them. For example, I have it configured to auto-connect to my home network. When I go to work, it has to try to connect to my home network, fail, and then I can select which access point I'd like to try to connect to. Also, there isn't support for VPN connections, which makes my campus wireless access (PPTP) impossible.

      Overall, the 770 is a good little device. In fact, I have to steal it back from my wife at times (it includes a Mahjong game)... It has a good interface (modified gnome/gtk), and connectivity is good. However, it is too small to be useful as a good internet tablet at home. The size is a bonus in that it is easily portable, but the difficulty in switching between networks makes travelling (and using 802.11 connectivity) harder than it should be. I also like the fact that you can attach the 770 to your main computer and it appear as a usb flash drive... this definitely makes getting files onto the device easy.

      There is a lot to like, and a lot to not like. If you get one, just know the limitations and you'll be happy. After playing with mine for a few days, I'm not sure I would not have bought one at retail price... to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I would have paid the developer's price either... This is a good first effort by Nokia, and their software deisgn is actually very good. They just need to work on the hardware design... I hope that the 2006 software update fixes the problems with configuration, but that isn't going to change the hardware issues.

      I'd give it a 6/10.
  • No telephony (Score:2, Redundant)

    by binaryDigit (557647)
    At first I thought, interesting, a tablet with a phone built in. NOT. It has no telephony capabilities itself, requiring a bluetooth enabled phone to provide connectivity. Makes me wonder exactly what the market is since it seems to compete directly with PocketPC/Palm. Other than price and the nice screen, I really didn't see anything all that compelling that would drive a significant number of people to choose this solution since it would be squeezed at the highend by PPC and the low end by their own p

    • I think they are expecting telephony to be provided by VoIP services, eg. Skype would run on it. After all, this unit is really intended to be used in places where you always have internet connectivity.

      No, I believe that it does NOT compete directly with PocketPC/Palm. They are trying to create a new product category: the "Internet Tablet".
  • does it run Windows?


    ;)
  • No ogg support?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sucker_muts (776572)
    Supported File Formats: Audio: MP3, MPEG4, AAC, WAV, AMR, MP2

    No ogg support? On a linux platform (which makes is a few steps easier to include it anyway)? Many linux enthousiasts will probably love this device (future mod abilities?), but yet no ogg support?

    I have lost of ogg music, and therefore am reluctant to buy even an ipod, so what about it not being put on this device? How hard can it be?
  • Yes, I'm enthused about this prospect, but sadly, not about the actual product. I think it offers some interesting features, but for $400, I would like to see a slightly higher storage capacity. After all, Nokia should take a cue from everyone else using the newer generations of Flash RAM. Frankly, the capabilities leave the imagination open to great ideas, but when I can actually store a useful amount of files on it, I'll be impressed</gripe></bitch></moan>
    • by moro_666 (414422)
      for almost the same buck, i get a pda with gsm/gprs/wifi abilities, so i can make calls and use internet from somewhere in the forest (where wifi accidentally is still missing today). ofcourse if i could choose a pda with gsm stuff and with linux, i would choose that... (preferrably with a built in qwerty keyboard and an option to add a fullsize pc keyboard over the usb cable or some direct mounting).

      the nokia thing is just a toy from my point of view. a quite expensive toy to browse the internet.

      the resol
  • Im impressed (Score:2, Interesting)

    For the first time I'm actually impressed with a linux based device. Most of they time its a great idea but poorly implemented or at a price point that scares me away or lacking crucial features. This looks like a nice device and at a VERY attractive price point. Now if I can somehow convince the wife that I need one...
  • by cetan (61150)
    128MB of storage of which only 64MB can be addressed by the end-user. And the RS-MMC slot can only hold a 64MB card. Is this some sort of joke?

    Is this 1999 or 2005?

    Another failed product by Nokia. No wonder they're in the toilet.

  • by ubiquitin (28396) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:00AM (#14034600) Homepage Journal

    There is a bootable Linux live CD that has a development environment for the ARM chip in this thing: maemo.org/maemowiki/LiveCD [maemo.org]


    I got a development unit on Friday last week. It took me about a half an hour to get ssh, vi, and nmap running on it. Shell tools are a variant of busybox. The ssh client and server that are the easiest to get running are from dropbear project [slashdot.org]. I'm working to compile gdb for this thing.

    Other comments: wifi is INCREDIBLY sensitive. Will make a great stumbling platform and 1G MMC cards are only like $75. Bluetooth works, and requires that you sync with a 4 digit code every time. The big question is whether it will work with bluetooth GPS.

    As a side note, hats off to Nokia for sending units to developers before sending them the press. Don't get me wrong, CmdrTaco, I hope you get the free unit that you feel entitled to in a few months from now, but the fact that Nokia wants these in the hands of developers before the press speaks volumes about how successful this platform will be.

    It's all about the software.

    By the way, if you want, I can paste a dmesg from this thing. It feels pretty quick, especially running X. Native RAM/storage is 128MB and it comes with a 64MB storage card. MP3 playing slows it down a bit. It can play movie files, but pretty much if that's the only app you're running. Chess, Mahjong, and a Marbles puzzle game are all very nicely built out. The RSS feed reader in this Nokia770 is AWESOME and puts the PalmOS equivalents to shame. The web browser feels like Firefox in your hand and already has Flash support in it. Blah blah blah; I'm rambling, if you have questions, post them here and I'll do my best to answer.
    • by ubiquitin (28396) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:13PM (#14035857) Homepage Journal

      BusyBox v1.00 (Debian 2:20041102-11) Built-in shell (ash)
      Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
      ~ $ dmesg
      mapdsp: freeing 0x10000 bytes @ adr 0xc2060000
      [69527.536682] omapdsp: mapping in ARM MMU, v=0xe0fff000, p=0x13c48000, sz=0x1000
      [69527.629608] omapdsp: mapping in ARM MMU, v=0xe0100000, p=0x12700000, sz=0x100000
      [69527.629852] omapdsp: mapping in ARM MMU, v=0xe0200000, p=0x12600000, sz=0x100000
      [69527.630157] omapdsp: mapping in ARM MMU, v=0xe0028000, p=0x105e9000, sz=0x1000
      [69527.630310] omapdsp: frame buffer export
      [69527.630371] omapdsp: mapping in ARM MMU, v=0xe0300000, p=0x13d00000, sz=0x100000
      [69527.630523] hwa742_notifier_cb(): event = READY
      [69527.630584] hwa742_register_client(): success
      [69528.026519] omapdsp: IPBUF configuration
      [69528.026550] 512 words * 16 lines at 0xe0200000.
      [69528.026733] omapdsp: found 4 task(s)
      [69528.026885] omapdsp: task 0: name pcm0
      [69528.059753] omapdsp: taskdev pcm0 enabled.
      [69528.059997] omapdsp: task 1: name pcm1
      [69528.092498] omapdsp: taskdev pcm1 enabled.
      [69528.092742] omapdsp: task 2: name avsync
      [69528.170349] omapdsp: taskdev avsync enabled.
      [69528.170654] omapdsp: task 3: name audiopp
      [69528.245025] omapdsp: taskdev audiopp enabled.
      [69530.782836] omapdsp: mmap info: vmadr = 40000000, padr = 12530000, len = 2000
      [69530.783264] omapdsp: mmap info: vmadr = 40000000, padr = 12510000, len = 2000
      [69560.991363] tlv320aic23 powering down
      [69570.117828] tlv320aic23 powering up
      [69570.135284] tlv320aic23_init_power() done
      ~ $ uname -a
      Linux Nokia770-40 2.6.12.3-omap1 #1 Wed Oct 5 12:54:09 EEST 2005 armv5tejl unknown
  • by el_womble (779715) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:00AM (#14034607) Homepage
    I don't get it. What would I use it for? Is it for people that can't afford laptops but want the web on the move?

    How many people is that exactly?

    And its not like you can just use it anywhere. You're either using it on your home network, where it would be a toy not a tool (why wouldn't you use your real computer?) or your using it in an expensive access point, or do they expect you to steal other people's connection?

    3 hours battery life?

    $400?

    I guess this might appeal to PDA people, but don't they have everything that this offers for less, in a smaller package with the same or better battery life?
    • And its not like you can just use it anywhere. You're either using it on your home network, where it would be a toy not a tool (why wouldn't you use your real computer?) or your using it in an expensive access point, or do they expect you to steal other people's connection?

      Erm... why didn't use at the office occur to you as one of the places you could use it?

    • by bfree (113420) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:49PM (#14035628)
      I don't get it. What would I use it for? Is it for people that can't afford laptops but want the web on the move?
      How many people is that exactly?
      How about people who won't lug about a laptop (weight) but need access to web/email. As others have mentioned, many business applications look viable where browser based clients do the work.
      And its not like you can just use it anywhere. You're either using it on your home network, where it would be a toy not a tool (why wouldn't you use your real computer?) or your using it in an expensive access point, or do they expect you to steal other people's connection?

      First, I could see myself using one of these at home, the alternative is to lug around the laptop, or cover the house in a bluetooth netork for pdas (unpleasent to surf on anyway) or put a computer in every room! Use it as a remote for mythtv, read email or /. while you eat breakfast and check imdb to settle a bet on what films the actor you are watching is in.

      As for where else to use it ... Work. Many free/cheap hotspots abound (e.g. some MacDonalds here would let you online for buying anything). Your friends/business partners may let you onto networks. It has it's own storage so it doesn't need to be online to be useful and finally you could just use your mobile when you have to get online and have no other choice.

      3 hours battery life?
      3 hours of surfing on 802.11 wireless sounds fine to me! I'd rather not carry around too much weight, and if I had to have longer battery life I suspect I could carry extra batteries. The entire unit probably weighs less then the two batteries I have in my laptop, in fact it's probably about the weight of one.
      $400?

      Yes, $400. Look at the prices of mobile phones (not subsidised ones), pda's and laptops. The 800x480 touchscreen alone is worth $100 in my book, any general computer (as opposed to a locked device) another $100, another $100 for low weight, power and small form factor and you can choose to argue the last $100's worth (is the software, or even just supporting the idea of it, worth it or perhaps the 802.11/bluetooth).

      Whenever a form factor like this starts to become popular you can expect a rapid price drop as I'm sure the main part of the costs are the attempts to recover the fixed costs and the marginal price is low. At present screen options were probably few and far between for nokia, but if 10cm 800x480 touchscreens (or any size/format/resolution) take hold another manufacturer (of both the screens and devices) will likely appear quickly. Right now there's still a bit of "early adopter" to the price.

      I guess this might appeal to PDA people, but don't they have everything that this offers for less, in a smaller package with the same or better battery life?

      Show me a PDA with a comparable screen? It's as simple as that, what size/resolution screen do you want to surf the web with. 800 pixels wide should mean you are using something more akin to a laptop web browser then a pda one and make things much more pleasant.

  • Those specs... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:06AM (#14034653)
    are weak. A low end Pocket PC device will cost you about $110 these days. And those specs are on the low end of Pocket PC devices these days. The only advantage is a bigger screen and the notion of running a free OS. The flash memory that thing takes is uncommon and not larger than 512MB. Why not an SD/MMC slot? Or better yet, Compact Flash? From the sounds of it, my Pocket PC device with wireless on also gets better battery life. 3 hours? Get a laptop with battery life like that. Not to mention the software support. I know it runs Linux but exactly how hackable will it be? It sounds like you can't put your own programs on without a memory card to transfer between your desktop and Nokia. I was sold on this little device when it was 4 months ago and $200. In those 4 months, I researched my alternatives and wound up getting a WiFi enabled Pocket PC with specs that are nearly THE SAME for $165. The only thing I lack is the 64MB Flash card. And those can be had for nearly nothing these days.
    • Re:Those specs... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Big Jojo (50231) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:07PM (#14035807)
      ...are weak. A low end Pocket PC device will cost you about $110 these days. And those specs are on the low end of Pocket PC devices these days. The only advantage is a bigger screen and the notion of running a free OS. The flash memory that thing takes is uncommon and not larger than 512MB. Why not an SD/MMC slot? Or better yet, Compact Flash?

      Those low end devices don't come with 802.11 support though. And if they support CF, they suck battery power up the wazoo. I far prefer having this longish battery life.

      The SIZE -- physical dimensions, weight, etc -- of N770 are actually quite nice. Much bigger and I'd feel uncomfortable putting it in my pocket. Much smaller and I'd not be able to use it in the can ... ;)

      One of the interesting things about OMAP is the integrated DSP. I've been lax, and haven't checked out how my N770 uses it (or if it does) ... but I'm certain that the VOIP codecs will be using it, even if some of the current audio/video stuff might not yet use it.

      Why would you want SD, anyway? Espcially on hardware where you're shaving every ounce of weight? Nokia doesn't use SD, so far as I can tell, just MMC. It's unrealistic to expect them to change corporate policy just for this product.

      As for adding software ... just download the packages from the web, over the wireless link. No need for SD.

      Admittedly a 220-odd MHz ARM isn't blazingly fast. But it's not like it's used for number crunching (that's what DSPs are for!), and this is certainly fine for web browsing at my local coffee shop. Or even at home.

  • Call Waiting (Score:2, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196)
    What, no phone? They say it can BlueTooth to a phone for Internet connections. Does this move mark Nokia's moving the phone to the status of a peripheral? Then they'll have to put USB master ports into the tablet.
    • Why would it need USB master ports if it can communicate with the phone via Bluetooth?

      I've used Bluetooth to go online using my Motorola V635, Apple PowerBook, and a T-Mobile account. It's just another form of dial-up networking (albeit with some wierd looking scripts if you want to use GPRS/EDGE) The cool aspect is they (the phone and book) only need to be in range of one another after the first time the thing has been set up. The phone can sit in my pocket as usual.

  • Has a charging cradle been announced for this thing yet? I couldn't see one on the website.

    This will be ideal for bedtime web browsing once my youngest stops trying to eat shiny electronic things.
  • Good In Hospitals (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blueZhift (652272) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:13AM (#14034709) Homepage Journal
    This might actually be of some good use in hospital settings as a replacement for PDAs (which are too small) or Tablet PCs, which are needlessly complex. I've been pushing web based forms for clinical research data entry for which a device like this would be perfect because it doesn't require making the forms microscopic and this internet tablet is much cheaper than a Tablet PC. I also found that Tablet PCs tend to run hot and are still a bit too heavy for the typical nurse to lug around for too long. Unfortunately, hospitals tend to be very Windows-centric, so this will still be a hard sell.
    • My guess is that the major stumbling block for hospital use is the 3 hour battery limit....
      • by Zak3056 (69287)
        I'm not sure I agree with that. Instead of issuing one to each doctor/nurse/whatever, you could have a bunch of them sitting in charging cradles at the nurse's stations. When your battery starts to go, you just pick up a new one and throw the old one on the charger.

        OTOH, this thing is the size of a PSP... I don't think the screen is quite large enough for medical use.

  • by Mr2cents (323101) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:19AM (#14034751)
    Why did it get arrested in the first place?
  • Operating System (Score:5, Informative)

    by hungrygrue (872970) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:20AM (#14034760) Homepage
    It sounds like a neat gadget, its a shame that most people will never realize that it is a Linux device based on the information that Nokia puts online:

    Operating system
            Internet Tablet 2005 Software Edition

  • I've had one on back order for a week now here in the UK. Looks like a really cool little widget, I can't wait to try it out.
  • It seems impossible for a keystroke logger to get installed on it so it would be perfect for banking and trading. The 800x480 screen should handle normal web pages. I boot with a live cd either ubuntu or knoppix when I am doing this stuff. If I can get some GPS software for it then it will be under the tree in december. May end up there regardless :)

  • Ahh, the wonders of Moore's Law. This device is more powerful than my current laptop (yes, it is a very old laptop) - they only edge my laptop has is in mass storage. I'd love to replace my laptop with one of these, save for only one problem - a lack of mapping software.

    At least with my current x86 laptop, I can run Delorme's [delorme.com] mapping software under Wine. However, since the Nokia device is NOT x86 that option is not open.

    Yes, I *could* use Google Maps. Except that would require me having a live Internet conn
  • when you can get a laptop for less [wsj.com]? Ok, the tablet is available now but it has no hand crank.
  • Despite being called a tablet, this device looks like an awesome pda. 1) Almost completely open source desktop enviroment and very standard. Linux, debian, X11. 2) Wifi b/g and bluetooth 3) Very high res screen. 800x480 4) It can run gaim and SDL, enough said. I might get one.
  • Or do us lefties have to constantly switch between stylus-or-navigation buttons? They should just place nav keys on both sides, it'd enable the eventual Katamari port (I can dream, right?)

    Seriously, tho, we're 15% of the market (possibly higher among the techie crowd, even), and this device looks to be really horrid for lefty-use, tho otherwise it's an interesting looking gadget. I wonder how video playback is?
    • Good to know I'm not the only one that noticed the right-handed bias. :) I've seen some devices that allow the screen to be rotated 180 degrees to accommodate lefties. Assuming it's not implemented now, I'd be suprised if they didn't add such a feature. I know quite a few left-handed geeks (myself included).
  • sounds more like a 3Com Audrey. [wikipedia.org] And looks about as useful. Having used a Tablet PC and other small devices to surf wirelessly, I have to ask: am I the only one who needs a keyboard to enter URLs?
  • Is it usable as an eBook?
    It can probably be used as an eBook, but is it usable/comfortable/enjoyable?
  • You could use this as a mobile terminal with access to a server for the heavy lifting via wi-fi and various extension devices via bluetooth and usb for varied input. For example, a bluetooth/usb upc scanner or RFID wand for inventory management.

    Also in jobs with numerous procedures it would be nice if you could have a device like this for accessing them where the updates could be managed remotely and pushed out. For example NASA flight controlers have roughly 3 feet or more of procedures to refference (if p
  • by OlivierB (709839) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:18PM (#14035327)
    As someone who is attentive to the 3G phone scene I was at first impresseds with the capabilities of this tablet.

    Looking a little more into the (hard to find) tech specs I soon realized that this device is nothing more than a 6680 or n70 hardware wise besides the gorgeous screen.

    My only complaint with this tablet is the poor Multimedia performance I.e. QCIF videos @ 15 fps on a 800*480 screen?? Come on!.

    I am not sure if the on chip DSP is put to use yet but if my N70 is any evidence, than it will not play anything MP4 at more than 200kbps. What a shame.

    And for the love of god, this device is supposed to be a USER-Friendly device. People all-over are already spitting out debs that are as pleasant to install as it is to eat bolts.
    I don't want to fiddle on my tablet too! Palms are increasingly looking like the Macs vs the monster the community is transforming this thing into.

    The Palm TX looks mighty sexy in comparison to this with a TCPMP running hi-bps videos and simple to install apps
  • I bought one! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Torbjörn (1956) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:14PM (#14035866)
    Ive had my 770 for a week now and so far I'm very happy with it!

    I have seen many posts wondering why you'd want one, so here are my reasons.

    * I want to have something to browse the web where a laptop is not appropriate, like in the bed or TV couch (I dont want to sit awkwardly leaning down to the coffetable or balancing the thing on my lap)

    * I use it as an extra MP3 player in the kitchen, streaming music from my server. When used like this I have external speakers and the power chord plugged in. Since there are lots of wifi MP3 player I can't be alone in having a need for this functionality.

    * It can act as a pretty good divx player on the road but I haven't really used it for that yet.

    * It's really cool!

    This might not be enough for everyone but I have wanted the websurfing part of it since the term webpad was first coined somewhere in the late 1990s. And this is the first one that really delivers on the promise at a decent price point.

    I never wanted the tablet pc's becuse the ones I have seen are all laptops without keyboard which means that they are expensive, heavy and not really designed to surf the web on the go.

    The fact that it runs Linux and potentially can do a lot of other things is pure bonus!

    Many people have questioned the lack of a phone in the unit, but I can't really see why I would want one.
    If it had a phone, lets say a 3G one, it would need it's own subscription or a dual subscription if possible, would be heavier and use more battery.

    I honestly think that it is much better to use my allready existing phone and subscription through bluetooth. Right now that is a GPRS phone but may soon be uppgraded to 3G, if it had been built in I would not have had the possibility to uppgrade it either.

    I guess I should include a little min review also, so here goes...

    The good.
    * The build quality of the thing is excelent. Since most Nokia phones are plastic little massproduced toys that feels like they will break if you look at them funny I was suprised by this. The 770 feels like it could stop bullets :-)

    * The browser, so far it has handled most pages I have thrown at it with ease the pages have been shown in all their glory without having to slim them down to the screen. (Try that on a Palm!)

    * The battery life, the stated 3 hours must be while stressing the unit hard, for normal use it lasts a looong time. The powermoding is excelent!

    The bad.
    * The 64Megs of RAM is a bit to little, the browser suck quite a lot of it and becaus of this it has problems with really large web pages.

    * Memory handling in general is not the best, it takes a little to long to load programs.

    * I expected that it would include a real dockingstation with power but it came a flimsy plastic stand a standard nokia charger.

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