Please help me decide - do you own a Nokia N880 or 770?
September 6, 2007 10:08 AM   Subscribe

GadgetFilter: Please help me decide - do you own a Nokia N880 or 770?

I am looking for people who have hands-on experience with these devices.

I want a gadget for primarily audio, some video & non-work-related light-surfing/RSS feed reading.

I can deal with the fact that storage may be limitted - I don't mind loading/streaming from my central NAS drive.

Currently I am deliberating between the Nokia N880 vs. Archos 605 vs. iPod Touch.

Audio quality is important to me.
posted by jkaczor to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I highly recommend hooking up your stereo system to a Roku Soundbridge or equivalent. The Roku can be controlled by the N880. Most likely the iPod Touch will also have a lot of third party support and hacks.

The Nokia is 640x480 and the Touch is 480x320. This is non-trivial for extended reading and web browsing. If your computer literate and can deal with updates and third party programs, I have a feeling Nokia has a following that will support it for quite awhile. That is if you can deal with not having the Touch and the Touch envy that will come with it.
posted by geoff. at 10:18 AM on September 6, 2007

I've got a 770. It's okay, but buggy, slow, and the browser crashes out unexpectedly too often for comfort. The N880's an improvement but not vastly superior. The 770 works okay but not remarkably well as an audio player, and pretty poorly for video. If you're okay with the price, I'd strongly recommend the Touch out of this set, though admittedly I'm not an expert on the Archos.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:19 AM on September 6, 2007

Best answer: Check out the Internet Tablet Forums. Tons of good info. I just bought a 770, because now that the 800 is out, they're dirt cheap.

770 Pros - wifi everywhere (including internet radio), linux OS, so some custom development is possible (and a mozilla-based browser!). Awesome screen. Nice hard case.
Cons - no Java or Flash 9 support. They MMCmicro (MMC-RS) external media cards is uses are hard to find, expensive, and only go up to 2GB. It's more of a hackers gadget - installing new apps is very similar to doing so in other debian-based systems, with repositories and such. Also, The 770 has all been abandoned by Nokia now, they're working in the 880.

For $150 bucks, i can't complain. I'm not going to upgrade to an 880 any time soon tho - it's not worth the (huge) price difference. The Archos and iPod touch, tho look nice - i want :) (but i'll wait until the next-gen iPod Touch)
posted by cgg at 10:21 AM on September 6, 2007

god... i should actually look at the preview before I post. That should read:
The MMCmicro (MMC-RS) external media cards ait uses are hard to find...
Also, "the 770 has all but been abandoned by Nokia..."
posted by cgg at 10:22 AM on September 6, 2007

I should also note that I'm a hacker-type, and (for example) I'm booting the entire system off of a fast MMC card; this aids speed a good bit but still leaves it much slower than, say, an iPhone on wifi. Also, it was a frustrating ordeal getting it set up; I had to modify the instructions I found online quite a bit, search through forums, etc. But it does have an 800x480 screen (not 640x480), which makes web browsing theoretically pretty nice; in my experience with the 770 and iPhone, I overall prefer the Apple system despite its lower resolution; it's much nicer overall, with less awkwardness... for me.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:23 AM on September 6, 2007

I've been looking at the N880 as well, but I'm planning on waiting a few weeks to see what the Asus EEE PC is like -a 2 lb, 7inch ultraportable laptop with 802.11b/g WiFi, a webcam, 512MB of RAM and a 4, 8 or 16GB flash drive for somewhere around $200ish. Yes please.
posted by FreezBoy at 10:28 AM on September 6, 2007

Nokia n880? You mean n800? If so, I have one right here in my backpack and I like it. Not love, only like:

-RSS feed reader is great for the subway/train/bus/whatever
-I have PDF maps and schedules all on there so I never get lost
-Maemo Mapper is super cool
-I hear the GPS is nice
-Web browser works well, scales well
-Screen resolution is great and bright
-I like the onscreen keyboard better than the iphone
-Fits in your pocket
-HACKER TOOLS! I have metasploit and kismet installed
-Runs linux, and you can ssh into it, it's a full computer
-Good wireless range

-Kinda slow, laggy, chokes on large pictures and PDFs
-Third party applications are buggy
-Barely plays youtube and other high quality flash apps (MLB Gameday in particular)
-I screwed with the OS and ended up having to reflash it, and things still dont work as nice as before.

I can't comment on audio or video as I have a 30gb zen and have no need for it. It's a good buy if you don't have a laptop but still need the net at all times, like me.
posted by Mach5 at 10:33 AM on September 6, 2007

I've been following the EEE like a hawk and it looks like, at least in the US, might not be a $200 model. That model will also only be 2GB, shorter battery life, and no camera (deal breaker for me). Check out this for updates.
posted by monkeymadness at 11:01 AM on September 6, 2007

Response by poster: Hmmm - dang, so no one can comment on the audio yet? I've been able to avoid iPod envy for the last few years, I can continue to do so.

I'm a programmer-type, so the ability to have a Linux-hackable, portable device is intriguing. I already have a laptop and a pocketpc phone for work - so this will primarily be my "keep myself entertained" gadget. I'm thinking of getting a bluetooth keyboard (or thumbpad - Targus has an interesting UK model) as well.

Mach5 - on the cover of this months Linux Journal they refer to it as an N880. On the net, I can only find references to N800.

The EEE looks interesting - if the screen would twist & flip like some of the old Sony palmtops then I would be more interested - but I always have a full-on laptop anyways.
posted by jkaczor at 11:34 AM on September 6, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks cgg the forums have quite a lively discussion wrt to the iTouch/pod vs. N800 series.
posted by jkaczor at 11:43 AM on September 6, 2007

The 770 is a bit under-spec'd, but if cost is a consideration they did get really cheap. The N800 is useful if you fit the right niche. It's about as small as you can go and still have a workable web browser. Sure, my phone has a web browser, but the experience is pretty miserable on the phone. It isn't strong at flash, but I'm comfortable using it. The other app I use quite a bit is the media streamer app. I run TwonkyServer on my desktop and have a uPNP streamer device attached to my TV also. When I used to ride the train my 770 went with me every day and I'd read news while I traveled. When I did long car trips the N800 tethered to my cellphone and was a nice way to keep up with the internet without a huge honkin laptop in the way. It is very much the kind of device you leave laying around the house and pick up and just navigate to a page. Actually, the N800 sits on top of a toilet paper roll fairly well. I've also used in airports with Tmobile Hotspot access and on airplanes to play movies. I don't like the built in RSS reader much. I use a web-based one with my N800. The built-in speakers are respectable, but obviously lack low end. I haven't noticed anything wrong with the headphone jack.
posted by joelr at 11:56 AM on September 6, 2007

The audio on my N800 is fine, but video playback is downright horrid. There are some open source players out there that have better luck, but are still sorely lacking. I was experiencing considerable buyer's remorse with the Nokia until I found the RDP client. Now I am addicted to using it as a remote version of my home PC. If there turns out to be an RDP client for the iPod Touch, I will be jumping ship. Until that day, the web surfing capabilities of the N800 are also nice. It will be hard to give up the Nokia's resolution, but it doesn't do a lot of good when the video playback is so bad.
posted by daveleck at 12:08 PM on September 6, 2007

I'm posting from an N800, but it sounds like the iPod touch is the better match for your needs. I needed to be able to run a VNC client, and I like the 800 x 480 screen, but I envy the Apple interface.
posted by rikschell at 1:18 PM on September 6, 2007

The audio sounds good to me, but I've never listened to an iPod. The N800 headphones kinda suck, but they do have a mic for making Skype calls. The N800 also has bluetooth, so a wireless headset is an option you don't have with the iThing. One more thing: I could get streaming audio on my father-in-law's network, but iTunes sharing is totally not supported.
posted by rikschell at 1:25 PM on September 6, 2007

I have no complaints about the audio quality of my N800 or 770, the little speakers on the N800 actually sound pretty good considering how small they are. I am also pleased with video playback, the only caveat being I convert my videos before viewing. In fact lately I've been using my N800 to watch most of my shows. The screen is really nice. I like having an xterm and ssh available and knowing anywhere I have a cell signal or wifi I can get to my machines.

For me the Nokia tablets are more of a laptop replacement than a ipod replacement. I still carry my ipod, it's a better mp3 player ergonomically. I don't carry my laptop unless I know I'll need it.
posted by jackmakrl at 1:57 PM on September 6, 2007

I have an N800 I love for audio and -- for me -- the video is pretty decent. It's an amazing, weird machine, and definitely more a laptop replacement. Surprisingly rugged, too.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:40 PM on September 6, 2007

Also, you can get 16GB of storage into the N800 with the new firmware and 2 8GB SD cards.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:41 PM on September 6, 2007

And I will add that I did A/B the audio on the N800 and a 4G iPod video device. The iPod was better by a notch -- more presence, a wider dynamic range, punchier lows and crisper highs, a better stereo field. I checked the same tracks using the same headphone. The iPod was also slightly louder at the top. No media player software on the Nokia is as transparent as the iPod interface. I don't have experience with the new one, though.

I do a ton of audio work too. I dream of a little audio editor for the N800. But it could happen.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:43 PM on September 6, 2007

Response by poster: Well - to anyone who is following this thead - I just put in my order for an iTouch.

(That doesn't mean I won't get a N800 anyways - but it will be for it's Linux/programmability/geek factor - and heck, my wife's birthday is in Oct - maybe I will give her the iTouch...)
posted by jkaczor at 2:48 PM on September 16, 2007

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