First look: Noah attended the unveiling of Nokia's N810 in San Francisco

Noah Kravitz
 from  Oakland, CA
| October 16, 2007

As expected, Nokia unveiled the N810 Internet Tablet today over eggs and coffee at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.  The press event was a prelude to the Web 2.0 Summit which kicks off later today -- Nokia is the Platinum Sponsor of the conference.

The N810 is the latest revision of Nokia's N-Series Tablets, and according to Nokia execs is positioned as the third in a series of five milestones for the line of portable devices.  The N810 improves upon the N800 with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, brighter screen, longer battery life, and location-based services featuring GPS-enabled Maps and Navigation software.

But it's not a phone ... yet ... The N810 is designed to connect to the Internet via built-in WiFi or tethered to a cell phone via integrated Bluetooth, and features Skype and Gizmo clients for Internet voice and video calling.  The N810 also features a Mozilla Web browser will full support for Flash (yes, YouTube works on it!) and AJAX and other Web 2.0 technologies.  Nokia has already announced that they will be shipping a WiMax tablet device, and execs confirmed for me this morning that that device will be available in the US during the first half of 2008.

Priced at $479 USD, the N810 will be available in November.  I played with one for awhile, and it's pretty nice - though I really want there to be a cellular radio in the thing (more on that later).  The form factor is perfect for times when you want something more robust than a phone but don't need the power of a full-on laptop.  It's got a WVGA resolution screen that's bright and sharp, a built-in stand to prop the thing up for watching videos, and 2GB of internal memory backed by an SD card slot.

Nokia made a point of saying that this device is intended for "technology leaders" and not necessarily the general market.  But, of course, there's that WiMax tablet coming next year ... likely to be backed by Sprint as they roll out their Xohm WiMax network across the US.  That should be pretty interesting.

More on the N810, Nokia's comments about Apple, and some video of the device in the coming hours.

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