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The Best of Santa: Introducing the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet.everything

Ever wished someone would come up with a portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled device with a web browser, email client, news reader, PDF viewer, streaming audio and video players, and a SIP phone all rolled into a Linux-based, Internet Tablet? Well, it’s here with the exception of the SIP phone which is scheduled for early 2006. It’s about the size of your hand. And, if games are your thing, there’s Chess, Mahjong, Marbles, and virtually any other game that has been ported to the ARM version of Slackware including clones of Tetris, IceBreaker, Minesweeper, Doom, and on and on.

The good folks at Nokia (yep, the cellphone people) finally have shipped the Nokia 770. And what a toy it is: the perfect addition to every commuter train ride or Starbucks visit. You may never travel with a notebook PC again. By loading an X terminal emulator, you have a Linux command prompt that will let you load and install virtually any Debian application on the planet: ssh, rsync, Office-compatible apps, VNC, NFS, GAIM IM, SQLite, and yes, someone has even ported the Asterisk® PBX to the 770. For those with a compatible Bluetooth cellphone, you can use your phone as your 770’s Internet link when there’s no Wi-Fi access point in your vicinity. It’s a bit quirky, but it does work with both CDMA and GSM Treo 650’s. And the best news of all: the Nokia 770 sports a high-res color screen that will have you believing you’re still sitting at your desktop PC. Best price: $349 at CompUSA this week.

If you want to learn more, start at Nokia’s site for Flash-based demonstrations (which play equally well on the Nokia 770 incidentally). Then visit the Nokia-supported development site, maemo.org, and have a look at the long list of apps which already are available and are free to download. And then head over to Vidar Madsen’s and Russell Beattie’s sites to see what’s new in the Nokia 770 universe. And by all means pay a visit to Ari Jaaksi, whose Open Source team at Nokia made it all possible. For a more detailed review, visit this ArsTechnica link. Still have questions? Check out the Internet Tablet Talk Forums.


  1. This is on the cover of the latest Linux Journal too.

    [WM: Unfortunately, you can’t read the article until next month unless you visit the newsstand or have a subscription. Just tried it out at Bear Rock Cafe (free WiFi!), and it worked like a champ. My five year old daughter uses it more easily than a regular desktop PC… no mouse to worry about.]

  2. I can’t wait to get mine! I am going to install a IAX softphone on it and connect a bluetooth headset to it so I can make calls from it.

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