The first thing I noticed when I unboxed the N800 is how big the screen is! 4.1 inches! I was looking for something like this for a long time, but could not find anything with the same screen size and functionality (Archos 604 may match in size, but nowhere near close in terms of functionality).
The box comes with the N800, headphones, 256MB SD Card (for internal use), battery, usb cable, charger, thick cloth protector, and an extra pen. There is also a free Skypeout 3 month trial as well.
The N800 has 256mb of flash memory and 128mb of RAM. It's primary storage (for programs) is the flash memory. However, for data, 2 SDHC slots available for putting in music, video, etc. As of today, you could get it up to 16GB with 2 8GB SD cards for relatively cheap; that's quite enough, as movies encoded for the N800 use only 400mb or so.
As I mentioned earlier, the N800 runs Linux. The interface doesn't look like the classic Gnome interface (which it uses), instead, it looks like a couple of previous N series phones. On the side you have 3 primary icons: Internet, E-Mail, and Applications.
There are quite a number of default applications, for which I will not go into detail.
Connectivity wise, the device supports Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g. The 802.11 support includes most authentication methods (WEP/WPA/WPA2), but does not support some enterprise extension such as EAP-TTLS/PAP; which I actually need to use in some cases. I did contact support to ask for help, and was told to call in. Range is quite good, and it detects a number of networks that both my laptop and wireless PCI adapter do not. The N800 also has a mini-USB 2.0 cable connector on the side, along with a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. The headphone jack supports headphones with built in microphones, and one is provided in the package. There is also an external microphone on the top of the device. A small web camera is included as well, and can be used on Google Talk/Jabber.
In terms of multimedia, the device supports the following codecs out of the box:
# Audio: AAC, AMR, MP2, MP3, RA (RealAudio), WAV, WMA
# Image: BMP, GIF, ICO, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, SVG-tiny
# Video: 3GP, AVI, H.263, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, RV (Real Video)
# Internet radio playlists: M3U, PLS
However, since it runs Linux, you can easily install mplayer via package manager and play quite a number of others as well. In some cases, it was able to decode a backup 700mb DIVX in real time. Watching movies on the 7 inch screen is quite easy on the eyes, and I see it as being quite useful on long trips.
Speaking of running Linux, you can install almost anything that runs on Linux. Some examples are: Kismet, Evince, GAIM (MSN/IRC/AIM/etc), X Terminal, SSH server, RDesktop, VNC Viewer/Server. The list goes on…
The base suit for Internet and E-mail is Opera (with Flash 9 support) and a custom E-Mail program. The web browser looks like the Opera browser you would find on many devices such as this. It is not the best browser (not compatible with some sites), but loads very fast and renders everything quite nicely. A Mozilla based engine can also be downloaded called MicroB. Overall, the browser is quite full featured, and worked on any site I went to. I was surprised that with 128mb of RAM, it was able to load forum pages with over 100 pictures of various sizes (at least 640x480). Neowin also looked exactly as it does on a PC, but was a bit slow to render at the start (navigation worked fine after loading). Sites with intense Flash usage may not be quite usable however, as this device does not have a graphics accelerator. Speaking of Flash, YouTube works fine in the browser, and is not too slow either.
The E-Mail client on the other hand is a bit disappointing, as it often crashes. It supports all the needed security extension and such, but IMAP support almost always causes it to freeze and crash sometimes. I found that the solution to some of the crashes was to force it to download the whole message, and not just the header.
Functionality wise, the N800 has some issues. One good thing is that when you use your fingers instead of the stylus, the N800 automatically makes menus very big. This allows you to easily navigate to any application you want without taking out the stylus (which fits into the side of the device). However, the close button on all applications and the taskbar are not usable with your fingers, unless you use your fingernails to press. There is also a virtual keyboard which can be set to big and normal mode. In big mode, you can easily touch type on the screen (like the iPhone). In normal mode, it also had a number pad, but you need to use the stylus. There is also a D-Pad on the left side with a center button, along with 3 buttons for Home, Menu and Back.
The N800 has decent battery life, and lasts about 3-4 hours when heavily used (WiFi, browser, PDF, etc). However, if you don't use it, but keep it on, it can last up to 5-10 days.
Overall, the N800 is a fun and useful gadget, but it cannot replace a computer when one is needed. PDF, and djvu files with Evince, rendering can sometimes be quite slow and unbearable if you need to search through documents, but for leisurely reading it is just fine. Performance may sometimes be lacking in web browsing and other programsl but you have to keep in mind it only has a 330 MHz ARM CPU. Nokia will be releasing Internet OS 2008 soon for free to N800 users, and it will integrate some open source projects into the OS core (Mozilla browser and Mapping software just to name a few).
Edited by zivan56, 22 November 2007 - 03:43.