N770 Overview

n770The N770 came out two years ago. It’s not a phone, it’s not a tablet, it’s not a laptop…It’s an internet device. Think along the same lines as Apple’s iPod Touch or the best smart phone you have used without the burden of being tied to a phone company. I’ve been playing around with mine since the end of the summer hot off the last check from my summer internship.

At the time I decided to go with the N770 rather than the N800 (which was the top model at the time–before the n810 was available). The idea was to grab the lower $100 model and see if I would actually use this product. I already have a small laptop, a Sony TX weighing in at 2.2 lbs. After a few months, I can see the benefit and need for such a device. It’s primary function is to pull up web pages and most web pages can be rendered and viewed almost perfectly with little to no screen claustrophobia using Opera.

I generally have wifi available wherever I go: at home, work, or on campus. In most places, service is available.  The bluetooth connection allows for internet connectivity through phone services.   The biggest selling point (over the iPhone or iTouch) for me was the ability to tether it to my phone, a Razr v3x and get G3 mobile internet. It’s not that I view too many pages while I’m out and about, but it’s really nice to be able to get off a few emails, check driving directions, and even get a little work done on the road. It’s size is small enough to just keep it in your pocket and I find that I reach for it before reaching into my bag to pull out my laptop.

The other greatest selling point for me was the open-source platform Maemo. If you are a coder, why fight and struggle to jailbreak your iPhone when nokia is offering an entire API? However, this platform is not for the average technology user.  What makes this a great benefit is also perhaps the biggest barrier for non-techies. The clumsiness of loading programs and getting them to work is still a bit hacky. As an engineer, I enjoy the effort to jump into a terminal and tweak files using VI, but explaining the fun of that to my apple-endorsing friends losing something in translation.

If you are a hacker at heart and love to tinker with your electronic systems–this is a must-have toy. Once Nokia gets this model up to full order by ironing out all the installation and configuration issues, then we will see a contender in the internet device market.

If you are into hack toys or have one of your own, check out my post on my personal n770 customization.

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