Nokia's N800

4:20 PM -- I am a major fan of the Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) 770. The device is just the right size for a mobile Web-access tool, and it works really well. And while I only really care about browser and support for other communications functions (like VNC), it runs Linux and thus has become something of a platform for developers. There’s a site dedicated to developer tools and applications. No, it’s not a cellphone, but one can link to a cellphone via Bluetooth and the dial-up networking profile -- assuming your particular cellphone and carrier are willing.

The 770 is getting close to a couple of years old, so it’s time for the new model, and that’s the N800. I saw the N800 at CES, and there are a number of obvious improvements. There’s a little fold-out stand so it can be placed at a nice viewing angle; this should be popular when used with a Bluetooth keyboard. There’s a little pop-out camera. It’s got more memory. The audio quality is better. And it’s a much sleeker design than the 770.

But the browser (Opera Software ASA ) still doesn’t support Java, so I still can’t run the beta version of Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) Mail, or anything else that depends upon Java. So I personally have no plans to buy an N800. I’ll make the 770 last a little longer and wait for the next in (or a competitor to) this line, which hopefully will have a better browser -- and maybe even 802.11n.

— Craig Mathias is Principal Analyst at the Farpoint Group , an advisory firm specializing in wireless communications and mobile computing. Special to Unstrung

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