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February 11, 2006

My Weekend With the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

by Darla Mack

Image023 One thing I never expected was to be more portable than my laptop, but the 770 definitely proved me wrong.

I didn't know much about the tablet and only knew of one person that had one.  But fortunately, I've educated myself about it enough to know that for me it is definitely a laptop replacement.

Lets look at the basics:
While marketed as a WiFi device the 770 can connect to GPRS through a compatible bluetooth phone and a good internet plan from your service provider.  In my case, I'm using the Nokia 6682 with unlimited internet plan from T-Mobile.  While I'm on the thought of it, let me tell you some of the things that could be improved.

The 770 has a file manager which if connected to a bluetooth phone can view files on the phone as well.  Now when I was trying to change the background image image file on the 6682 came up and allowed me to select one of those images as the background screen on the 770.  Cool.  Moving to the built in audio player, I tried to do the same thing.  Didn't work... however, when I went through the path of the file manager all of the mp3's from the 6682 did show up, but unfortunately the 770 doesn't support opening the file... this should be changed!! 

Secondly,  even though its not a phone, which was repeated to me every time I asked about a built in calendar, how hard would it be to sync to the same phone connected via bt to update a calendar?  Yes folks, the 770 has no calendar syncing function.  So, if one were using this in replacement for their laptop wouldn't a personal assistant management system of some sort be appropriate?

The battery life of the 770 is very impressive.  I actually spent most of the day lounging on the living room couch browsing the web. The good thing though is that there are programs out there to sort of give you whats missing, and we are all familiar with that from our phones.  The first program I installed was an IM client called GAIM which includes AIM, Yahoo, MSN and IRC.  That is a fantastic app and made messaging more fun for me while I was sitting in class! 

Ok, now back to this calendar thing.  The one app that I found interesting enough to conquer the task of syncing with Outlook was DejaPIM.  Unfortunately,  the synchronization service comes with a monthly fee. 

The 770 comes with a preinstalled news reader and internet radio.  I didn't really use the news reader much because I ended up installing the Bloglines notifier app to check out my feeds.  Now the killer on this thing was watching movies. 

While there are many functions of the 770 such as MP3 listening and watching movies, I never got to that because I was addicted to just browsing.  Lol, simplicity at its best.  But knowing that the functions are there makes the 770 a reliable source of replacing your computer.

Information and applications for the Nokia 770 internet tablet can be found at Maemo.org's Application Catalog


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» Darla Tests the Nokia 770 from Geekzone
Blogger Darla Mack played with the Nokia 770 and give us more good basic information on how it works - and it can and can't do. [Read More]

» Darla Tests the Nokia 770 from Geekzone
Blogger Darla Mack played with the Nokia 770 and give us more good basic information on how it works - and it can and can't do. [Read More]


Michael Denny

Something else that the 770 is missing is a good PIM which has a local sync operation. DejaPIM requires use of the Internet to sync to your local PC (!) -- and a monthly subscription charge to boot. If only a PIM could locally sync and also cause the phone to dial a number in contacts via bluetooth, then I could keep the phone in my pocket and use the 770 to surf the Net or dial a contact. I could listen/talk via a bluetooth headset. This approach to a smartphone is more modular than a single compromise phone whose screen is too small for web browsing. It also offers better security, because I could keep the 770 (with all its contacts, etc.) at home when I just wanted to go out and use the phone.

Steve Hopwood

I'm thinking about getting the Nokia n770. I'm wanting to not have to unpack my laptop everytime I want to check e-mails or write them, and look up stuff on the web. I got a new laptop, an HP zv6130 about 2 months ago. It works OK but it is a chore to lug around,(mostly because of the weight of the computer and the charger and the carrying case. None of these are much in themselves, but they all add up to quite a bit.) and pack and unpack everytime I want to look at e-mails and such. I've been thinking about getting a smaller more light weight laptop to use but I really don't need another computer. This n770 sounds like what I want, but I would like to look at one in person before I buy it. Who has these so that one can look at them beforehand?

Chris Robison

I've got a question -- something's been stumping me for a while now. I've been trying to get my 770 to connect to the internet via my T-mobile cell phone (a Sony-Ericsson T610), and although with my laptop and my Palm it Just Works, the 770 just doesn't. Nothing I've tried has even resembled success. "Internet connection failed. Try again?"

How did you set up your phone with your 770?



I love my Nokia 770! As for Cal Sync not needed. Google Cal is great or if you use it in conjunction with a cell phone most of them has this function anyway, besides using the phone helps keep all your pim data in one place.

What would be sweet is if it had a the ability to 1.) act as a USB host out of the box (with out having to HACK ROOT) 2.) Dial the phone. 3.) Check and send SMS. Then it would Perfect. If you added PIM Data then Caller ID would be great.

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