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Linux-based OS drives new Nokia N900

Running Nokia's Maemo OS, the N900 combines multitasking, Web browsing, a 3.5- inch touch screen, cell phone, and QWERTY keyboard.

Nokia wants you to chat up a storm with its new N900. Nokia

With its new N900 handset, Nokia is playing up the Linux angle.

Part cell phone, part computer, the N900 takes advantage of Nokia's Linux-based Maemo operating system to offer multitasking, Web browsing, a touch screen, and slide-out keyboard.

Running the open-source Maemo 5 software, it can provide more of a PC-like experience on a small device, according to Nokia. The Maemo OS lets people juggle several applications at the same time.

"The Nokia N900 shows where we are going with Maemo, and we'll continue to work with the community to push the software forward," Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's executive vice president for markets, said in a statement. "What we have with Maemo is something that is fusing the power of the computer, the Internet and the mobile phone."

Nokia's Maemo OS is separate from the company's Symbian OS for smartphones, though the company has said it wants to make it easier for developers to write applications for both.


The specs on the N900, announced Thursday, include an ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 1GB of application memory, 32GB of storage (expandable to 48GB with a MicroSD card), and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Although Nokia dubs the device a tablet, it measures 4.4 inches by 2.4 inches and features a 3.5-inch widescreen display.

Equipped with a Mozilla browser and Adobe Flash 9.4 support, the device provides 10/2 High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) for mobile broadband speed, along with wireless LAN connectivity.

The handset also sports a 5-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens.

Nokia will offer the N900 in selected markets starting in October for 500 euros (around $712). The device will be on display at Nokia World in Germany next week.

The N900 is the next generation follow-on from Nokia's N800 and N810, which were released in 2007. The N800 sells for around $300, while the N810 goes for about $400.