Posts Tagged ‘internet tablet’

Mobile Type 2.0

16 March 2010

Dear J-

Call it the need to needlessly complicate: instead of just getting something that would work without a lot of fuss, I’m going to try a GPS solution employing a secondary receiver and an existing device, namely the Nokia N800 I’ve been writing this blog on for the last few months. The N800 is as from from the iPhone/iPod Touch as you can imagine two different touch-driven handhelds; whereas the iPhone exists in its own bubble, with focussed applications that work and work well, its potential hasn’t been truly unlocked: Bluetooth, but no HID stack that would let you type on an external keyboard; no camera on the Touch, no GPS without stepping up to the IPhone. With that said, it addresses 90% of what I need and I use it accordingly.

The N800 has a relatively byzantine method of turning on Bluetooth, but it works reasonably well (there is the occasional extra letter or long repeat, but compared to the laggy mess that I dealt with on the Treo, light-years better with a keyboard). Options are buried in menus; there is a full-blown console if you want or need and yet bugs persist. Turn off the Bluetooth keyboard and the on-screen keyboard refuses to return; sometimes the devices won’t pair or, despite pairing, no keys are read. For me, it’s annoying to go through three windows to connect; there should be a dedicated button, or at least a toolbar option list.

All in all, though, I think this is pretty reasonable; card slots mean that it’s entirely possible to use a real camera if I go on the road, and the machine is able to multitask, even if my poor brain is only able to take care of one thing at a time. Maemo WordPy is a better solution than anything that was on Palm OS5, and the lack of a hardware keyboard is outweighed by the ability to take full-size SD cards, instead of the goofy miniSDs of the N810. It’s still smaller than a netbook, if necessarily more limited, but I can cruise through a week of writing without having to recharge, and that counts for the most in my book.

Mike

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