Nokia N900

My new mobile phone arrived last week - a Nokia N900. n900 I still have the Nokia 770 which was the first of Nokia’s “Internet Tablets” and so was quite interested to see how this new device would perform, now that Nokia have finally performed the obvious step of adding a cellular radio.

So far I am undecided about the device. Most of the reviews say that the N900 is a computer first and a phone second, and I have to agree. It is lacking a lot of functionality of my old N95, but on the other hand it makes up for this in processing power, the screen and the open-source OS.

Ignoring the phone side of things, the N900 is truly impressive. Moore’s Law is always interesting to observe. I wrote my PhD thesis on my trusty IBM Thinkpad 240 7-8 years ago. Let’s compare:

Thinkpad N900
CPU 300MHz Celeron 600MHz ARM Cortex A8
RAM 64MB (but I upgraded to 128MB) 256MB SDRAM + 768MB NAND
Storage 6GB 32GB (plus I added a 16GB MicroSD card)
Screen 10.4” 800x600 3.5” 800x480
Weight 1.3kg 181g
Input The excellent Thinkpad keyboard + “nipple” A very fiddly keyboard but quite a good resistive touchscreen
OS Windows 2000 (but I wiped this and ran RedHat Linux, I think version 5 or 6?) Maemo Linux
Cost Too much :-) Not quite as much

So there you have it: my mobile phone beats my old laptop on almost every count. My challenge now is to write a paper on my phone! I have managed to install gnuplot but I am having trouble getting LaTeX installed. Hopefully the very active Maemo forum will be able to help me out.

Tags: gadgets, mobile, research, stuff, toys


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