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Nokia ‘net tablet prototype nifty but logy

Jun 21, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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[Updated June 22, 2005] — Nokia's 770 Internet Tablet is well-conceived as a single-purpose device for web and email, but may be too sluggish to achieve widespread success, according to a reviewer at InformationWeek who got the chance to play with a prototype for an hour.

According to reviewer Nancy Gohring, the 770 is great for listening to Internet radio and viewing photos on the small but high-resolution 800 x 480 TruColor (65K colors) display. Video is a bit choppy, but acceptable, while a built-in RSS feed reader works well. The interface benefits from hardware buttons for tasks such as maximizing application windows and zooming.

However, the device's interface suffers from sluggishness, with several seconds of lag time between user action and system response, Gohring writes. Nokia says it will optimize the interface prior to shipping the device.

In choosing a graphics software subsystem for the 770, Nokia eschewed the lightweight frameworks typically used in embedded devices, instead opting for KDrive (aka TinyX), a pared down version of the X windowing system used in normal Linux workstations. Kdrive, smallX, and other lightweight X implementations have been used successfully by projects such as Nokia appears to be working on the interface, sponsoring updates to the Matchbox window manager, and courting GNOME hackers with developer discounts.

More troubling is the prototype reviewer's claim that the device boots only marginally faster than a Windows PC. However, this may not be a problem if the device has a robust sleep/hybernate system.

InformationWeek's full sneak peek review can be found here. More technical details about the 770 can be found here and here.

This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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