I was a very lucky boy this year and Santa left me a Nokia N810 under the Christmas tree, its a Web Tablet featuring the OS 2008 Linux distribution, based on Maemo, 4.0
Having sorted out the girls iPods, updated the software, hows that work then? The new nano has only just come out yet here we go again yet another Newer version of your software is available anyway next on the list is sorting the wifes new phone and then it was my turn. Like a good boy I sat at the table and opened up the Pin up poster sized instruction sheet.
Stage 1 First charge the battery on your new Nokia N810 Bugger! Three hours later, well its got some juice in it hasnt it?
Stage 2 Insert your SD memory card Arrgghhh! Frantic searching of boxes, paper, families pockets and bins no SD card! Quickly jumped on the Laptop to look on the Internet Whats in the box? phew there is no SD card so why talk about it in the STAGE 2 of the set up?
Stage 3 Is the usual this button is this routine.
Stage 4 Here we go, setup wizard
OK so I switch it on, pair it with my phone, detect my wifi, set the date and time and thats about it really but hang on how do I work it? There are some very basic, and I mean basic instructions on what icon to click on for a given application but no instructions on how to configure say your email. Now I have a bit of knowledge so after a bit of trial and error I got mine working, although I think its not correct, I can only delete mails from both the Nokia and the mailserver, there is an option to just delete from the N810 but it wont let me select it?
I could rant on about this suffice to say the instructions are crap really crap given the price of the unit, there is a pdf file buried somewhere within the unit but that would be a nightmare to read while trying to set up your chat program.
Updating and installing software
I havent a clue! Actually thats not true you use something similar to click-n-run or one-click-install you go to some website (For Christ sake dont delete the short cut) where there is a small selection of apps, click on the one you want and its a pretty standard Do you want to install this wizard but yet again no instructions on how to do it or get there I found it by accident.
In the box is a data cable but hang on wheres the software to stick on my PC so I can talk to the Nokia? There isnt any or at least not for the minute if you plug it in to either Linux or Windows your PC just thinks its a Camera and opens the Video/Images folder, I tried to transfer some files over which my PC said was there but the Nokia couldnt or wouldnt see them so for the minute transferring from PC to N810 is non-existent.
After a while I got pretty used to it there is another niggle but I doubt there is a way round it, you can have some applets running on the desktop I have a clock and an RSS reader they can be freely moved around and here is the problem they move too freely and they are a real bugger to move back to where you had them before whats needed is some sort of Lock to desktop option.
Just because the screen looks small dont be fooled there is a neat zoom feature so everything is viewable you just have to scroll a bit more thats all.
The N810 has Maps and a car kit so I suppose you could use it as a sort of tom tom go travel map thingy but Im pretty good with a road atlas and have a good sense of direction.
I came across another problem which actually made me roll around with gutsy belly laughs; there is a built in Webcam the instructions read: In the top left corner is a Webcam, when the red light is on it is working WTF? How do I turn it on mate? Trial and error again helped me discover that you go to /Extras/Camera (I think I had to install the Camera software by the way) and hey presto you have a nice orangey, grainy low quality Webcam. As a media player its not the best IMO it plays music, it works, I just think it doesnt sound as good as my iPod.
- Instructions are appalling; there is no printed full featured manual in the box.
- No Syncing/communicating software either in the box or available for download.
- The carry case for it is pants.
- Applets cannot be locked in place.
I love it to bits I was pleasantly surprised that my sausage fingers can use the keyboard pretty well and in conjunction with the stylus I can nip round stuff quickly, once you have the applications setup any Linux user will feel at home with the N810 I installed Pidgin and found another sad friend to talk too on Christmas day. The signal strength is good and the build quality is sturdy. Its one of those gadgets that just feels good in your hands.
Given that it costs around £300.00 I think Nokia needs a slap on the wrist for items 1. 2. And 3. On my gripe list but having said that Im chuffed to bits all I need now is lots of people with open wifi connections so I can stay on the net wherever I go using my Nokia 6300 phone via Bluetooth could work out expensive!