Gadget Reviews

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I love my Nokia N810, but after 10 months of hoping in vain for ubiquitous wifi in the places I frequent, I finally put convenience ahead of cost and upgraded to a smartphone with a data plan: the HTC Tilt 2 from AT&T.  I’ve only had it for a couple of days, and I’m still getting used to it, but here are a few of my first impressions.

The Tilt 2 is also available from T-Mobile and Verizon as the Touch Pro 2.

Things I liked

The keyboard: This is one of the main reasons I didn’t get an iPhone.  Even the best onscreen keyboards fail to measure up to hardware buttons and tactile feedback.  The Tilt 2 has a fantastic keyboard.  The buttons are just the right size for my thumbs, and are nicely spaced.  Frequently used characters like “/”, “@”, and “:” are intuitively placed, and there are shortcut keys for things like email, calendar, texting, and wifi.  I thought I liked the keyboard on my N810, but this one is even better.

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I spent five hours on a bus today.  During that time, I watched two movies, one on my Creative Zen Vision M 30 gig player, and one on my Nokia N810.  Here are my impressions:

 

Creative Zen Vision M 30 gigabyte

I watched A River Runs Through It on the Creative device.  I expected to have difficulty watching a movie on such a small screen, and was pleasantly surprised with the experience.  The colors are clear and vibrant, and I had no difficulty keeping up with the action.  I turned the brightness up to 100%, but probably could have been comfortable with less.

After I got home, I turned the movie back on and left the player running to see how far it would get before the battery died.  Including the time on the bus, it played for just over 3 hours before switching off.

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Someone arrived here yesterday after searching for “word processor for nokia 810.”  Here are a few suggestions:

Notes

The N810’s built-in “Notes” application is good enough for note-taking and rough drafts.  You have your choice of fonts, as well as italic, bold, and underline styles.  You can also do bullet lists and numbered lists.  I’ve used it while offline to write blog posts, which I then copied and pasted here.

One of the advantages of using Notes over Abiword or Google Docs is that the Notes application is optimized for the tablet’s screen resolution, so you don’t have to squint to read your own work.

You can save Notes either as HTML or text files.  The HTML files will open in your desktop browser.

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This is a belated followup to my previous post about the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet.  I hadn’t received the tablet when I first wrote about it.  I listed some of its features that made it attractive to me, and promised a review once I had the device in hand.

Here are some photos of the device next to my Creative Zen Vision M (approximately the same size and shape as an iPod Classic) and my Toshiba e330 Pocket PC.

Sorry, the photos were lost in transition.

Here is a list of features I mentioned in my previous post, and my impressions of them in actual use:

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What is VOIP?

“VOIP” stands for “Voice Over Internet Protocol.”  Simply put, with VOIP, your phone conversations go over the internet rather than through landlines.

Okay, why does that matter?

The advantage to VOIP is that it is far less expensive.  For example, the first phone service I ever had was absolute bare bones.  No Call Waiting, no Caller ID, no Voice Mail – just plain old telephone service.  Including taxes, I paid about $28 per month.  The cost only goes up from there.  I just did a quick internet search and discovered that in my area, Verizon charges $40 per month before taxes for unlimited calling to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  If I want voicemail, caller ID and call waiting, I would pay $45 per month before taxes.

I have all that and more for about $17 per month through VOIP.com.

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School is out, finals are over, and Christmas is just a couple of weeks away, and I’m drooling with anticipation over my soon-to-be latest toy.  Recently, I started thinking about buying a new Pocket PC to replace my 6 year old Toshiba e330.  The Toshiba still works great- I use it to take notes in class with a portable keyboard, but it has neither Bluetooth nor WiFi, and I’d really like to be able to surf the net and check my email on the go.

The Nokia N810

The Nokia N810 is what’s called an internet tablet.  It is not a phone, but it has Bluetooth and WiFi.  It’s about the size of a large cell phone, and is intended, as its name suggests, as a portable internet device.  You can use it to access the internet at a WiFi hotspot, or tether it to your cell phone if you have a data plan.  Although it is not a phone, you can use Skype with it.  Additionally, it has a built-in GPS and mapping software.

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As a student, I have to take a lot of notes. I’m a fairly fast typist, and I frequently get impatient when I have to write things by hand. Some of my classmates bring laptops to school, but I am reluctant to carry that much weight around or put such a valuable item at risk of loss, damage, or theft.

I recently purchased a Belkin F8U1500 Wireless PDA Keyboard from an Amazon retailer to use with my Toshiba e330 Pocket PC. I used it last month to take notes during a four-day seminar, and was very pleased. Some of the presenters spoke way too fast for anyone to take good handwritten notes, but I easily kept up with them.

Specifications

  • Measures 5.5 x 3.75 by .75 inches. Weighs .4 lbs.
  • Uses one standard AAA battery.
  • Keys are about 7/8th’s of full size.

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