Nokia have axed their N810 WiMAX Edition Internet Tablet, and while the Finnish company did not state their reasons for its demise, a fair guess would be that it's due to the slower-than-expected spread of the WiMAX network itself. However, according to company spokesperson Laurie Armstrong, Nokia is not writing off WiMAX altogether.
Nokia's tablet ambitions may see the company slotting a so-called "tweener" device in-between smartphone and the currently available slates, according to Nokia EVP Tero Ojanperä. Speaking at SXSW this week with Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka, the Nokia exec suggested that the existing crop of tablets wouldn't be the last word in innovation, and predicted something somewhat larger than a smartphone could find a niche.
Video after the cut
It was at Intel's booth rather than Samsung's at Mobile World Congress where we got our hands on the Samsung SWD-M100 Mobile Internet Device, and while the unit they had to play with was mysteriously non-functional, the hardware is certainly promising. Hidden behind a 4.3-inch touchscreen there's a full slide-down QWERTY keyboard, together with WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 and - its crowning glory - WiMAX.
Check out our hands-on video with the Samsung SWD-M100 MID after the cut
If you've built a media PC and are now looking for a reasonable wireless keyboard and mouse, how about using the Nokia N800 or N810 Internet Tablet instead? BlueMaemo is a port of ReMoko for the Linux-based Maemo OS used on the touchscreen devices, and basically offers the Internet Tablet as a combined keyboard and mouse device via the Bluetooth HID profile.
Check out the BlueMaemo demo video after the cut
Sprint has officially announced its new 4G XOHM WiMAX high-speed WWAN service operating in Baltimore, and with it several new WiMAX-enabled notebooks from Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, Toshiba. The PCs will use Intel's combined WiMAX/WiFi module, an optional feature for Intel Centrino 2-based laptops, and which Dell, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have all promised will be integrated in select notebooks of their own in 2009. Alternatively a USB WiMAX dongle, made by ZTE, can be used to add WiMAX to other devices; Nokia's N810 WiMAX Edition Internet Tablet will also go on sale later this month.
Nokia has been detailing further information on next generation of the Maemo OS that currently powers its touchscreen Internet Tablet range. The fifth generation of the Linux-based platform will include WWAN HSPA cellular connectivity as well as support for Texas Instruments' OMAP 3 processor; the latter could lead to lower-power requirements along with improved graphics and faster cores.
Sprint's Xohm website, a work-in-progress detailing much of the carrier's plans for its high-speed WiMAX network, has been unearthed. While much of the site uses dummy filler-text, it does confirm 2-4Mbps download and 1-3Mbps upload speeds, as well as that access will be both by the day and by the month, with no binding contracts or cancellation fees. Several devices are also mentioned as being available from the September Xohm launch.
Bargains to be had, as Nokia's N810 Internet Tablet takes a price tumble at several big-name retailers. Both TigerDirect and CompUSA have the N810 - which offers VoIP, internet browsing, email, messaging and more over a WiFi connection - for $299.99, down from the original price of $479.99. Nokia's own online store is selling the N810 for $439.
Today Nokia is holding a press briefing at CTIA Wireless. Our Vincent will be attending that briefing and surprisingly enough it will be held on the air – 180 feet above the ground! So our “curious” Vince went to the site to captured video of the briefing venue. We are expecting Nokia to announce the rumored N810 Internet Tablet WiMAX Edition at this "Briefing In The Sky" event.
Video after the jump