Tablet review: Nokia N810 Tablet

This Nokia N810 Internet Tablet review discusses web browsing, other features and compatibility as a smartphone companion.

A handheld Internet tablet that expands the capabilities of the power road warrior, the Nokia N810 offers high-quality web browsing and can be a smartphone companion. The Nokia N810 Internet Tablet is the third model in this company's series of traditional handhelds, and the best so far. It is the first with integrated GPS capabilities and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

This Linux-based device lets you connect to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot with 802.11b/g, and if that isn't enough, it can connect via Bluetooth to a mobile phone. You can then access the Web with the best mobile browser currently available, watch streaming video, make VoIP calls, and much more.

The best way to think of the N810 is that it's a handheld web browser -- the best I've ever used. It can do about 90% of what Internet Explorer or Firefox on your desktop can do, and leaves rivals like Blazer and even Opera Mobile in the dust.

It's the browser which makes this a very powerful device, as the tasks you can perform on the Web have expanded tremendously in recent years. For example, I'm writing this review almost entirely on the N810 in Google Docs & Sheets.

It also lets you watch YouTube videos, work with your email, and a whole raft of other functions.

This is good, as the applications that actually come with the N810 are fairly limited. Also limited is the supply of third-party applications, but I'm hoping this will change as people realize what a brilliant device this is.

In addition, out of the box it lacks many of the features a lot of you are accustomed to in a handheld. It doesn't come with a calendar, for example, and the N810's address book is there to let you send people email or instant messages. You can't put a street address into it.

Also, despite being made by Nokia, this isn't a smartphone. It has Wi-Fi, and you can use a Bluetooth-enabled phone as a wireless modem, but I know for some people this is a significant drawback.

It isn't to me, as I'm OK with a two-piece solution. I have a very small smartphone that goes with me everywhere, but because it has such a small screen it's a bit limited. The Internet Tablet goes with me when I want more functionality and a bit of extra bulk doesn't matter.

And this, I think, is the ideal arrangement for the N810: as a companion for a smartphone. Each device offers features the other lacks, and together they make an outstanding mobile solution.

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