Planet maemo: category "feed:68a214557791eb7b58e154b2ee45d63e"

Daniel Gentleman

Fourth Internet Tablet released on...

2009-01-28 11:14 UTC  by  Daniel Gentleman

Feb 16, 2009.

That's my bet. The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona starts then and Olli Pekka Kallasvuo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia, is delivering a keynote.

Granted no one can confirm or deny that speculation. Indicators seem to be in place - such as the progress of the Maemo 5 platform, recent price drops of the N810, and the age of the N810 in the face Netbook competition.

Netbook competition? Yes - that's what I am putting in there. Maemo Internet Tablets and Netbooks are geared for different sets of needs, but the "middle consumer" who wants a mobile device but without specific parameters will choose a Tablet OR a Netbook - not both. That middle consumer is actually bigger than the Tablet or Netbook markets themselves.

If you happen to be in Barcelona, try to make it to the Mobile World Congress. Even if there is no new Tablet, there are some major players in the mobile space delivering keynotes. I look forward to reading the coverage.

Categories: speculation
Daniel Gentleman

Holy Discount!

2009-01-22 17:00 UTC  by  Daniel Gentleman
According to Gadgetell, there's a sale on the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet on The price? US $219. I thought $350 would be a good price for the N810 on release, but $219 is a steal.

What would prevent anyone from buying it at this price? Nothing - if they didn't know what was right around the corner....

Categories: buying
Daniel Gentleman

Nokia opens more - this time with Qt

2009-01-14 11:13 UTC  by  Daniel Gentleman
If you haven't heard the news, Nokia is now adding LGPL options to Qt.
The press release is here, but it is a bit hard to follow unless you're an open-source developer or copyright law student. To sum it up:
  • Qt software is commercial, but the source code is open to developers.
  • Developers can contribute code to the Qt base.
  • With access to the framework's source code, developers are able to better understand how it works and take advantage of this in developing their applications.
  • Switching to the LGPL allows software makers to create commercial products extending upon the public code base. This makes the platform more attractive to big developers who have products to sell.
How does this impact Nokia Internet Tablet users? Nokia was quite vocal about their commitment to use Qt more extensively. If the framework is well integrated with the tablet and the LGPL option attracts more developers, the Internet Tablets will be a bigger target for what we'll call "Really Sweet Software."

Categories: open source
Daniel Gentleman

What would you buy?

2009-01-12 21:59 UTC  by  Daniel Gentleman
This is what happens when a blogger gets consumed by a cross-state move and an exceptionally busy new job: The need for a solution on which he should be an expert. With CES over and the announcements complete, I can't decide WHAT to get.

You see - My job would be easier if I had a mobile 3G connected device (whether phone or not) with a rich web browser, VPN abilities, and good Email client. Media playback is a plus. Here's what is on the table:
  1. Existing Nokia N95-3/Nokia N810/iPod touch (first generation) combo. Advantages: I already have this stuff and it does what I want it to do. No added cost. Disadvantages: The N95-3 feels a little dated these days. It's a good solid phone and does the 3G, camera, texting, and MMS well but I never migrated out of the iTunes music ecosystem and have too much stuff already well organized in there.The N810 provides a better web experience than any phone, but not a better experience than netbooks.
  2. iPhone 3G. Advantages: I already have this and, with a lot of work, it could do the VPN and SSH work I want it to do. Disadvantages: The keyboard is simply unusable for anything but a quick message. With that keyboard, there's no way I'd be able to remotely debug a Linux server faster than just driving to the office.
  3. 3G connected netbook (like this deal from Radio Shack (if it is still available) or this deal from Dell though I HATE rebates) plus the iPhone 3G. Advantages: Media/phone combo works well enough, but the ability to use the netbook for "real internet/real work." Disadvantage: Another $60/mo data plan.
  4. Something Else. I am sure I am forgetting an option.
  5. Just wait. Limp along on what I have now and hope something better comes along.
The problem with the current market offerings is that nothing seems COMPELLING enough to buy anymore. Netbooks are becoming a muddy mess and the $299 initial price target has almost doubled for any decent new machine.
Categories: iPhone 3G
Daniel Gentleman

N810 WiMAX Edition: Gone before it's time

2009-01-07 11:06 UTC  by  Daniel Gentleman
Nokia was way ahead of the market when it announced the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition, but now there is talk that the tablet is already gone. This makes sense: Producing a device on technology that is not yet in circulation means the device will not sell. The Internet Tablet hardware and software developers are working far faster than the wireless carriers in deploying new technology.

The best solution for an embedded high-speed tablet is to use radio technology that already exists: WiFi, Bluetooth, HSDPA, and maybe (but not likely) EVDO rev A. We already know that there is an upcoming HSPA Internet Tablet in the works. Let's hope that it gives consumers a compelling reason (in price or features) to buy the tablet instead of a Netbook, laptop, or smartphone.

Categories: N810 WiMAX Edition
Daniel Gentleman

Aaaand I'm back!

2008-12-13 13:48 UTC  by  Daniel Gentleman
Google made changes (Why didn't I get an Email about this?) to the redirection for causing tabletblog to be down for a few days. Lovely, huh? It's back!

Daniel Gentleman

No CES coverage here!

2008-12-02 13:40 UTC  by  Daniel Gentleman
I regret to say that I will be unable to escape from my new job to cover CES this year. The last two years were fun and my feet hurt until nearly Valentine's Day each year.

The good news: I'm only a few miles away from Nokia's Mountain View office and other major Silicon Valley offices. I hope to do more in-person work in the near future.

Categories: announcements
Daniel Gentleman
As a followup to my last post: I slept on it, read the comments this morning, and got some good feedback from others over GTalk. I was a little hasty in that judgment of the N97 and it's place in Nokia's Nseries ecosystem. Yes: it does include the features that Internet Tablet users have been waiting for. It's still not a replacement.

Internet Tablets still have that sweet 800x480 display. They're still more hackable and customizable. They still are focused on being a SECONDARY DEVICE that can be left home while a cheaper phone goes traveling. Personally, I'd think twice before I brought an N97 to a rowdy concert or any event where it could be in danger. Would you go rock climbing with a US $700 phone? My older N95-3, while expensive when I purchased it a year ago, is much less of a "loss" if I were to damage it. My iPhone 3G is even less important to me. I keep that around as my "just kicking around" phone.

While the convergence market is trying to cram everything into a single device - sometimes it's just better to have two. The N810 is far closer to a "laptop substitute" than the N97 and that's where it should stay.

Categories: N810
Daniel Gentleman
First the awesome news unrelated to the Nokia Barcelona event: My favorite Internet Tablet site,, will become part of the official maemo ecosysem and be Read Reggie's announcement.

Now on to the Nokia event:

I am still watching the live webcast of the Nokia event. They've announced the N97 mobile computer (which is also a phone.) The feature set is far and away beyond anything on any current phones:
  • Large 16:9 tactile response touchscreen
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 32GB on board plus up to 16GB microSDHC
  • 5 megapixel high def camera
  • Widget home screen
  • GPS, GSM, WiFi, Bluetooth, HSPA
  • Symbian OS
This takes everything that was promised to the tablet in Berlin and wraps it up in the phone. The 550 Euro estimated retail price (around US $700 depending on when you do the conversion - putting it on par with mid-range laptops these days) will be a hard sell.

With this out - the Internet Tablet line will need to come in at a very low price point to give users a reason to buy them instead of buying a maemo tablet. If Symbian was still closed-source, the maemo architecture would make the tablet line a stand-out product. When produced next to this monster of a phone, what is the future of the N8xx line?

I am sure of something: They just recently hired more maemo staff. SOMETHING is up their sleeve.

After saying all of that - I totally want one. If I had $700 for a device right now, I'd plunk it down on an N97 before any netbook, MID, UMPC, or computer upgrade. I don't have it, though. Not many will in the very near future. It's a tragic case of timing too: If the software is properly implemented - this does for the Internet what the 770, N800, and N810 tablets set out to do back in 2005.

Categories: news
Daniel Gentleman
Nokia has a product launch event with a countdown clock. My dear friends in PR tell me that there will be an opportunity to put questions to the Nokia team on the Nokia Events site after the big announcement. These questions will be answered at in two sessions: the first at 9:30 GMT and the second at 17:00 GMT.

We know darn well that Nokia is giving us an Internet Tablet with HSPA connectivity, higher-definition cameras, and a fast OMAP3 CPU. What we don't know: WHEN.

The FCC gives me nothing. Anyone who'd have an inside leak is tight-lipped. I think Nokia cracked the whip on leaks in this product line and it's working. Like everyone else, I have to wait.

To be honest: I don't think we'll see the new tablet unveiled tomorrow. I'm predicting one or two new phones and some fantastic accessories. I'd put money down on a new online portal that will do what MOSH tried to do except actually integrate Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, and others instead of trying to compete. These are pure speculation based on market movement. We'll see.
Categories: speculation
Daniel Gentleman

Chumby hack published in MAKE Vol. 16

2008-11-26 15:06 UTC  by  Daniel Gentleman

This isn't Internet Tablet related, but I've mentioned Chumby here several times.

A hack I did on my Chumby - specifically the installation of the Chumby into 1980's style bright red phone - got published in MAKE Magazine. It's in MAKE Vol. 16 and here's a digital preview of it. Take a look at the next page to see the guts of the Chumby and the phone. If you're into hardware hacking or tinkering, you'll enjoy the MAKE magazine, blog, and twitter feed.

Categories: other blogs
Daniel Gentleman
If you are not already subscribed to IntoMobile, you are missing out on their article titled "Few things I would like to see in the next Nokia Internet Tablet Device."

Some things echo normal community comments and some (1024x600 capacitive touchscreen?) are a little outlandish. Read, comment, and discuss!

By the way: This is tabletblog's 600th post.

Categories: other blogs