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Nokia isn't foolish enough to think that its line of Internet Tablets is going to attract everyone. The company has readily admitted that it's for a certain audience--gadget lovers and early adopters--and we certainly agree with that statement. However, with every successive model, we also see more appeal in such a device. The latest model, the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, features some nice improvements, including a full QWERTY keyboard and integrated GPS. There's also a more robust Web browser and improved interface, courtesy of the latest Nokia Internet Tablet 2008 operating system. And while these are all welcome additions, we ended up slightly disappointed when we found the keyboard to be a bit cramped and that you had to pay an extra $130 for driving directions. As such, we don't think the N810 is necessarily worth upgrading to from Nokia N800 Internet Tablet (you can download a software update from Nokia to get the latest OS) but if you're making your first foray into the mobile Internet devices, the Nokia N810 is a sleek and Web 2.0-friendly choice. The Nokia N810 Internet Tablet is available now for $479.99.
With each iteration of the Internet Tablet, Nokia has improved on the design, and the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet is no exception. It carries a smaller footprint than the N800 at 2.8 inches tall by 5 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep but weighs the same at 7.2 ounces, which is admittedly on the heavier side. Still, it's compact enough to slip into your bag or purse, and the sleekness combined with brushed metal finish makes it one sexy device. The N810 is sure to garner a few stares from onlookers.
On front, there's a 4.1-inch QVGA touch screen that displays 65,000 colors at an 800x480 pixel resolution. It was a pleasurable experience checking out Web sites and viewing images, thanks to the sharp definition and vibrant colors. It's readable in various lighting conditions, and there's an ambient light sensor that will adjust the screen's brightness depending on your environment. The user interface is a bit different than the N800, and while it's still not completely intuitive, it's easier to navigate and the applications are neatly organized by category. You can also customize the home screen with various themes and background images, and you can conveniently drag items around the page to create a layout that suits you.
To the left of the display, you'll find the Webcam, a Home screen shortcut, a back button, and a status LED. The navigation control pad that was found on the N800 has been relocated (more on this in a bit), but we missed having this on the front of the device to more easily operate the device. You can use the included stylus to maneuver through the menus and select items. The touch screen is responsive, though there was a bit of lag but this was more of a performance issue rather than a problem with the touch screen.
One of the biggest and most noteworthy additions to the Nokia N810 is the new slide-out QWERTY keyboard. To access it, just push up the screen, which locks into place with a satisfying click. While we love having the keyboard since it makes e-mailing, instant messaging, and entering Web addresses easier, we did have a couple of complaints. The individual buttons are fairly large, but there's very little spacing between the keys, which makes it a bit cramped. In addition, the top row is lined closely with the bottom of the front cover, so our thumbs endured a few hits. Like the Nokia E61i, the keys are a bit soft to press and didn't give us the best tactile feedback. To the left of the keyboard, there is the aforementioned navigation toggle and a menu button. The former is a bit cramped, and if you want to press upward, you're going to run into the same problem of hitting the bottom of the screen with your thumb.
The top of the unit has a key for minimizing/maximizing the screen, a zoom in and out/volume rocker, a power button, a lock switch, and the stylus. Along the right spine, you'll find a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and power connector, and there are speakers on both sides of the device. On the bottom, there's the miniSD card expansion slot and the battery cover release. Like the N800, there's a kickstand so you can prop up the N810 on a flat surface, but we found that when we went to put it back, the kickstand would sometimes catch the edge of the expansion slot cover and pull it open.
The Nokia N810 Internet Tablet comes packaged with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a soft carrying case, a screen cloth, a vehicle mount, and reference material.