Pros Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, open source OS with all kinds of 3rd party apps
Cons Didn't like to turn on
Summary First the good, then the bad.
I purchased the N810 online and loved it the second I got it. I like the GPS feature, but I believe it is $130 for 3yrs of use. I also had to update the OS to activate the GPS point to point directions. No big deal. Connected to my cell phone via bluetooth which allowed me to use my cell as an internet connection as well as stream audio and video files off it. Also no issue connecting to WiFi. Installed a 3rd party video player with codecs and it played everything I wanted without issue. I loved this thing.
So why the 3 in my rating?
One was at times it was slow. Didn't handle multitasking too well. That wasn't a big deal. The problem I had was if I used it for more than 3 minutes and turned it off, it wouldn't turn back on. I would have to pull out the battery (which is held in place by a cheap metal backing) and put it back in. Then hope it would turn back on. Sometimes it worked the first time and sometimes it didn't. Looked online for this issue and it seemed I wasn't the only one with it. Also, there was no known fix. I got it on a Friday and as much as I liked it, it was on its way back to the retailer Monday morning. I got the feeling this was a bigger problem or known issue because the online retailer wanted to do a refund instead on an exchange.
Pros Web browsing, versatility, 3rd party apps, full keyboard
Cons GPS performance sluggish, keyboard feedback
Summary I received the N810 for Christmas (I know, how lucky!) and it impressed me since I opened the box. This is a sexy device, metal and glass in a small footprint. It is phenomenal to browse the Internet with Flash (YouTube full-blown not the i.Phone limited one) to the point that I'm not using my laptop or desktop anymore at home, but its strengths go far beyond.
It is a mini laptop and when using it you almost forget it is such a tiny device. Document and e-books reading, video viewing (several media players are available), Skype, GPS, powerful email clients (like Claws Mail). Even a remote desktop application is available for (free) download and in minutes I was able to access my desktop Vista Ultimate computer while on vacation, wow!
The main cons is that it is not yet perfectly smooth software-wise. But it is getting there and the community is very active (visit maemo.org and garage.maemo.org).
Summarizing it is a new sub-laptop device and you feel you are never done with experiencing what you can do
Pros Gorgeous design, great screen, fast
Cons no software!
Summary Nokia scored a real technologic triumph with the n810. The device is sleek, attractive, powerful, with a gorgeous screen. It's much faster, and theoretically much more powerful than most PDAs. Your heart leaps for joy just holding this device in your hand and turning it on.
Unfortunately, Nokia has hamstrung the n810 by shipping it with the Maemo operating system, a seriously stripped down version of Linux.
There are currently only a few dozen applications available for the n810, primarily from third-party developers. Unfortunately most are for playing media, which is nice if you're 20 years old and have nothing on your mind and can get $450 from your parents, but not sufficient justification for an adult to purchase the n810.
One should be able to open and edit Word documents with the n810 but you can't because no application exists for this purpose. No spreadsheet either, or calendar, or database. If you're a chess fan like I am, forget it. The system comes with a barely functional chess game with no data capabilities. Most of the installable games are ones I've never even heard of.
In short, the functions you expect to see with a computer this powerful are nowhere to be found, and unlikely ever to become available.
The Maemo developer community, bless their souls, are great people, extremely helpful and supportive. But like 99% of programmer-afficionados they have their heads in the clouds and are clueless about the real world. They gush over a new tweak for the Maemo social networking application and happilly debate the pros and cons of various compilers, but when it comes to what ordinary users want and need they might as well be speaking Urdu.
Nokia has sold this product short by leaving serious users out in the cold and catering to the purple-hair nose-ringed crowd. Why do innovative companies like Nokia do such stupid things?
For incremental cost it could have provided a more generic version of Linux and/or invested in basic applications which would have broadened the appeal of this beautiful device ten-fold.
To Nokia: How about a $10,000 prize for the best Maemo word processor, spreadsheet, and contact manager?
Nokia had a PDA-killer in its hand, but instead has delivered a glorified, $450 MP3 player.
If the n810 ran most Linux programs it would easily be worth $700 or $800. At the current price I'd have given it an 11 out of 10 (!), but under the circumstances the Nokia n810 is a very poor value.
Pros Good battery life
Very good screen
Web browser is better than other small devices
Linux platform provides excellent community of developers and good application selection
Cons Maemo Linux is specifc to the n810
The web browser is very good but the memory limitations on the n810, mean that some website are sluggish or do not format correctly
No office suite available for the device, except Google Docs which is online only
Summary I debated for quite a while between the n810 and a Netbook - likely the Acer Aspire One. I decided to go with the n810 and I am generally very pleased with the device. However, the lack of an available MS Office compatible office suite (Google Docs works fine, but can not be used offline) and the web browser limitations have led me towards thinking I may be better off trying a netbook.
I think there are trade offs between the two form factors. However, many device manufacturers and software developers are working on the netbook platform. Nokia and the Maemo community are on their own with 3 Nokia devices and a decent but not incredible suite of software.
Buy a n810 if:
- a touchscreen experience is important to you
- you want the smallest possible form factor, that provides a robust web browsing experience
- you want bluetooth connectivity built in
- long battery life is important
- your budget is at the low end of devices in this price range (~$400)
Buy a netbook if:
- you need a full featured web browsing experience i.e. no compromises at all
- you need to touch type (n810 is efficient, but still thumb typing)
- you need an MS Office compatible office suite
Pros very small, does alot of what you want
Cons slow at times, crowded keys, poor video chat quality
Summary i am writting this review from my nokia n810. it is very useful. i check and write emails. imake voipcalls using skype with chrystal clear conversations for both parties. music playback is great quality. video calls are awful and i can't stand that there isnt keys dedicated to numbers. you need to click the fn button before you can click each number. over all i love this device and as soon as they put a cell modem in it i will only need this. right now i need a cell phone as well.