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Nokia updates tablet, adds Skype support

So it is a phone after all

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Nokia have announced an update to its internet tablet - the N770, and have equipped the newly-announced N800 with Skype support.

The N800 adds support for miniSD cards (following the rest of the Nokia range in the move away for RS-MMC), greater processing power and more memory. It also gets an updated look, as well as an updated operating system, though battery life remains a diminutive three hours of Wi-Fi usage.

The Nokia Tablet was a real departure when launched in 2005: it had (and has) no cellular connectivity and uses a Linux-based operating system. Most operators viewed it as an interesting experiment from a company which, it should be remembered, leads the world in set-top box developments amongst other things, as well as mobile phones. The N770 had nothing to do with the mobile phone business, and so was largely ignored.

Nokia have worked hard to build up developer support for the N770, with some success as the range of applications available for the device demonstrates. But it was the announcement, in 2006, of support for Jabber VoIP, and thus the Google Talk service, which attracted attention from the network operators: suddenly this geek-toy was starting to look like a telephone.

Support for Skype; the largest VoIP service, is an obvious development, and it’s only a shame that the client won’t be available out of the box (it must be downloaded), though the demographic that the N800 is aimed at should have little difficulty downloading and installing an application.

Luckily that demographic is quite well-heeled: having no cellular connectivity means no network subsidy, leaving the N800 costing over 200 quid, when the similarly-equipped P990i can be had for nothing with the right contract.®

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