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Nokia N810 internet tablet

Fills a gap you didn't even know you had

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Review Nokia's approach for the N810 is pretty simple: phone screens are too small for decent web browsing, so surely a separate portable device that has a bigger screen and Wi-Fi connectivity is needed for serious portable web access.

Nokia hasn't regarded size and weight as such restrictive factors. At 228g the metal-cased N810 certainly isn't light, nor at 128 x 72 x 14mm is it small. On the upside, it's very well bolted together and has a very high quality feel to it. If it was any smaller, the 4.13in, 800 x 480, 65,536-colour screen wouldn't fit.

Nokia N810 internet tablet

Nokia N810: not a phone, OK?

A quick fiddle with the externals reinforces the impression that this is not a budget device. Slide the top of the 810 up and a full Qwerty keyboard is revealed, and quite a keyboard it is, looking and feeling like the keyboard on a HTC TyTn only twice as big and twice as easy to type on. The fold away metal stand is a nice touch too.

The heart of the N810 is a Linux-derived OS called OS2008. As far as operating systems go it's nothing too flash but it does the job with a minimum of confusion and ambiguity, and more to the point does it quickly. Basic system navigation is performed using a series of tabs and menus accessed on the touch screen. Two further controls on the front left of the device are used, respectively, to bring up a list of currently active applications and to move you back through the current menu tree. All in all it's pretty intuitive and a piece of cake to use.

Set up is ball-bouncingly straightforward. Within moments of opening the box we had the N810 talking to the office WLAN and the home screen set to show a BBC World RSS newsfeed, a web link to the Register Hardware home page, a Google search window, the time and a link to the Radio Paradise web stream. We even found some themes and colours we liked once we'd installed the latest firmware from Nokia.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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