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Nokia Debuts New Internet Tablet, Camcorder

It might not be Apple’s new iPhone, but Nokia wants people to know its been in the mobile Internet game for a long while now, and it actually has products available now, as opposed to maybe coming down the line in six months. Nokia’s new N800 Internet tablet, being shown off this week at the CES show in Las Vegas, is an update to its earlier N770 mobile surfing device. The idea behind the Internet Tablet is to let users keep up with their news, email, instant messaging, and Web services while also serving as a personal entertainment device with music and video. And although the N800 does support VoIP calling, the device is not, itself, a phone. Instead, it connects to the Internet using Wi-Fi or via a separate Bluetooth-capable phone that can talk to mobile data services.

“As the Internet becomes an ever more integral part of daily life, Nokia N800 has been designed to offer quick and convenient access to your favorite Internet services regardless of location,” said Ari Virtanen, Nokia’s VP for Convergence Products and Multimedia. “The Nokia N800 takes our offering to the next level combining speed, performance and mobility into a stylish, compact design.”

The Linux-based Nokia N800 offers an 800 by 480 widescreen display and loads in the Opera 8 Web browser with Flash support, offers video-capable Internet calling and support for instant messaging, email, RSS feeds, and Internet radio. The N800 also includes media player software which supports AAC, AMR, MP2, MP3, RealAudio, WAV, and WMA audio as well as motion images in 3GP, AVI, H.263, MPEG-1/4, and RealVideo formats. The unit comes with a 128 MB miniSD memory card, and offers two internal memory card slots supporting SD and miniSD for storage of documents, music, images and video. Messaging is handed via an onscreen QWERTY keyboard; as you might expect with a video-cable device, there’s an integrated Web cam—and, because it’s Linux, in theory savvy users can install third party applications to expand the N800’s functionality. Nokia is demonstrating navigation with Navicore, music via the Rhapsody subscription service, and VoIP via Skype. The N800 is available now in the U.S. and selected European markets; the U.S price is $399; the EU price is €399, excluding taxes.

If the Web cam and Wi-Fi capabilities in the N800 aren’t quite enough to appeal to the YouTube generation, Nokia is hoping its N93i Internet-enabled camcorder phone might tickle their fancies. In addition to being a WLAN, 3G EDGE and tri-band GSM phone, the N93i offers broadband Internet capabilities for browsing, uploading content, and manageing email, plus VGA resolution MPEG-4 video capture at 30 frames per second.

“With devices such as the Nokia N93i, we believe that video can become a similar kind of mass market phenomenon as mobile photography has become,” said Satu Ehrnrooth, head of Nokia Nseries Cameras Category, Multimedia, Nokia. “The slim and beautiful Nokia N93i is the ideal device for user-created video content, as it is a connected digital camcorder that is always with you. You can even instantly upload video clips in their original size directly from the device to online blogs or video communities. With the Nokia N93i, sharing your stories is now as easy as recording and viewing them.”

In addition to MPEG-4 video capture, the N93i can capture 3.2 megapixel still images with the help of a 3×optical zoom, and offers miniSD storage. (The camera ships with a 1 GB miniSD card, which is good for about 45 minutes of video footage). Would-be videographers can use the built-in 2.4-inch LCD display as a viewfinder, and a joystick provides simple, smooth video control. The N93i is tied in with a new personal video blogging service called Vox but it shouldn’t take much imagination to get the video onto YouTube or other outlets—especially since the N93i ships with Adobe Premiere Elements for Windows to edit and craft your video masterpieces, and optionally burn them to DVD for, you know, old people who don’t have broadband. The N93i also has video output or can connect to computers and other devices via integrates 802.11b/g Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Think the N93i looks expensive? It’ll be priced around €600 when it hits the Continent in the first quarter of 2007; no word on U.S. release or pricing.

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