29th May 2004 Archive

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Nokia 6820 messaging phone

Review Nokia's 6820 might seem an odd choice for review here because it isn't a fully-featured smartphone. Although Nokia is promoting it aggressively in Europe as a business phone with RIM's Blackberry Connect email software (as the 6810), we typically look at phones that match or exceed PDA functionality, that run Palm, Microsoft or Symbian operating systems and are open to third party applications. Forget about multitasking, or running Opera or Salling Clicker on this device: it's limited to 64 kb Java applets. The user interface is the current evolution of Nokia's NaviKey, which is used on hundreds of millions of handsets. No, the Nokia 6820 is here because of one characteristic, its keyboard. Nokia first debuted this ingenious design a year ago in the 6800 model, and it transforms the phone into something that's at the same time a little more useful and a little less capable than a PDA. The phone looks like a traditional candy bar handset, only the front flips up to reveal a full 51-key QWERTY layout with the phone rotated 90 degrees. It promises to solve one of the dilemmas of a mobile device: they make for reasonably good devices for viewing material in some circumstances, but are lousy for entering text. Attempts to improve keyboards inevitably compromise the size. At one end of the market, Nokia's Communicator series has proved that a demand exists for mobile devices with full-sized keyboard that dominated the market in the first half of the 1990s, such as the Psion Series 3,5 and Revo, Sharp's Zaurus ZR and HP's Palmtop range. On the other hand, this is very much a niche market, and the Communicator remains more expensive and bulky than most users are prepared to carry. The 6820 is designed to encourage text entry but without the dweebish stigma of a posh smartphone. So how did it stack up?

EMC, Dell and Brocade enjoy ménage à SAN

EMC and Brocade took the SAN-in-a-can concept to a whole new level this week.