[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Monday, 2008-01-21

Verdict on the Nokia n810: fail

Filed under: Linux,Technology — bblackmoor @ 17:53

Nokia n810I was very excited to get my hands on a n810. I have been virtually drooling over them since I first read about them last autumn, and mine finally arrived last week.

Unfortunately, not only does it not do what I have been using my Palm for for the better part of a decade, it also does not do what I would want a Linux handheld to do.

No desktop sync, no decent PIM apps, and the Garnet VM is, shall we say, not a replacement for a real Palm (not even close). So it won’t replace my Palm T5.

Meanwhile, I can’t install or compile the vast majority of Linux applications, including Shadow Plan, OpenOffice, and a host of others. So it won’t take the place of a laptop, even for such a basic task as working on a report while riding the train to work.

What it does do very well is surf the web. If you happen to be standing near a WiFi hotspot. Whee.

I am returning mine. Maybe some day there will be a Linux handheld that can replace my Palm T5, but the Nokia n810 is not it.

What I do not understand is why this is so difficult to accomplish. PIMs are not new. Desktop sync is not new. Palm has been doing it for years. We have better hardware, faster processors, higher-resolution screens, better batteries, more memory than anyone has ever had before. So what’s the obstacle? Where is the Linux based Palm-killer? Not even “killer” — merely “replacement”. Where is it? Where?

So I am sending the Nokia n810 back, and contemplating ordering a Palm TX. The TX would have a slightly faster Internet connection than my T5 (when I am near a hotspot), and thus would be able to more than replace the Nokia n810, which costs almost twice as much as the TX.