Nancy Gohring was able to get her hands on a Nokia 770 prototype the other day at a press event in Helsinki. She posted a review on Mobile Pipeline and cross posted a shorter review on Wi-Fi Network News. Every postitive thing she said about the device hinted at the fact that she hated it because it was dog slow. One must remember that the processor behind the 770 is a 220MHz ARM, and that a 220MHz arm just isn’t a 2GHz Pentium 4. Having said that, I’m pretty sure that the final device will be a bit zippier than the one she played with. I’m also pretty sure that the boot time will be resolved on the final device and will be quick enough.
I also think that a 800×480 high resolution screen in a device that size is quite an accomplishment and shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s not a 15 inch LCD, but it’s also extremely portable. While the operating system won’t officially include VoIP and instant messaging until the Internet Tablet 2006 update, there is a tutorial on porting Gaim to Maemo on the website, and I know of several people working on VoIP, SIP, and other communications programs for the platform. Silky, a secure internet chat client, has already been ported to Maemo, the development environment for devices like the 770. My guess is that there will be a handful of communications programs available for the 770 at launch time.
While the press junket might be the first time members of the press have been able to play with a Nokia 770, it has been shown (and I believe demoed) at the Linux World Summit in New York and Guadec 6 in Stuttgart.
In conclusion, I think there’s a ton of potential in this device. While the 770 is never going to be a fullsize notebook in terms of performance, I’m pretty sure that the speed and responsiveness will be better on the final device than the one Nancy was able to play with. There are a lot of people around the world working very hard to make sure that the Nokia 770 and the platform it is built on are as solid and fast as can be. I’m definitely looking forward to purchasing my developer device as soon as it’s available and testing a bunch of apps on the device.