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rickh
I'm coming from the Zaurus side of things, having used a C3000 for a couple of years. Unfortunately, it was recently stolen, and instead of getting another one, I'm thinking of replacing it with an N800.

I tried to search, but didn't really come up with much in the forums, so here are a couple of questions:

1) Is there real word processing, Word (or at least ODT) compatible software available for the N800? I see that there is a reader, but I'd ideally like to be able to do substantial word processing with a bluetooth keyboard.

2) Is it possible to map the keyboard for international english usage?

If I could do both those things, I could leave my laptop behind and work for the most part on the N800.

Any info is greatly appreciated.

R.
==
mars
I don't think there is a real word processor yet for the N800. Abiword was working on the N770, but from what I've read it may not work yet for the N800.

Gnumeric however seems to work fine.

As far as international keyboards, I assume you mean for using a bluetooth keyboard. I don't see an international english option (e.g., with dead keys). But there are a bunch of international keyboard layouts. Maybe xev and xmodmap would work?
rickh
Well, I took the plunge and bought the N800 as well as the nokia bluetooth keyboard.

So far, it's really pretty nice. As far as international keyboard layout goes, the nokia keyboard allows for *some* accents, but I haven't figured all of them out yet. The reason this is important to me is because I spend a fair amount if time translating documents from romance languages to English.

I would like to get ssh working - the repository listed at maemo.org is either incorrect or the actual install file is missing.

But I've already gotten rdesktop working for the windows machines, so that's something.

There are a lot of other applications I eventually want to try.

So far... FUN.

R.
==
Antikx
QUOTE(rickh @ Mar 15 2007, 02:57 PM)
Well, I took the plunge and bought the N800 as well as the nokia bluetooth keyboard.
*

Congrats. If you get the time, I'm sure we'd enjoy a mini-review from a Zaurus user.
Bombur
How well does the SU-8W work? I was thinking of getting one.

J.
rickh
QUOTE(Bombur @ Mar 16 2007, 03:01 PM)
How well does the SU-8W work?  I was thinking of getting one.

J.
*

It works quite well. Every bit as solid feeling as the N800 itself. I initially had trouble connecting, then reconnecting the keyboard to the N800, but that was due to the N800's less than intuitive way to tell it to (re)connect to a device. Once I figured that out, all was well.

R.
==
Snappy
Congrats to you as well! smile.gif

And as Antikx mentioned, do let us know how a n800 stack up to a zaurus ya?

The n800 might serve as a good replacement or backup machine for the zaurus. smile.gif
rickh
QUOTE(Antikx @ Mar 16 2007, 02:00 AM)
Congrats. If you get the time, I'm sure we'd enjoy a mini-review from a Zaurus user.
*

At some point in the near future, I will indeed write something up. So far, I'm pretty happy with it.

R.
==
Antikx
QUOTE(rickh @ Mar 17 2007, 10:13 AM)
QUOTE(Antikx @ Mar 16 2007, 02:00 AM)
Congrats. If you get the time, I'm sure we'd enjoy a mini-review from a Zaurus user.
*

At some point in the near future, I will indeed write something up. So far, I'm pretty happy with it.

R.
==
*


Wicked!
rickh
OK, here it is: A far from complete mimi-review:

Right out of the gate, I must mention that I was a pretty staunch Zauruz user for years (truly - I started using the SL-5500 all the way up to the SLC-3000 until it was stolen). So I had already convinced myself that nothing could stack up to them.

First off, the N800 is a solid piece of hardware. It feels as solid as any clamshell Zaurus I've used. I also bought the SU-8W bluetooth keyboard to go with it. I should mention that since I had planned on using this as a sort of mini laptop, I've not invested any time in using the handwriting feature. Actually, I do pretty much everything from the bluetooth keyboard, but the user interface is quite friendly to boh stylus and fingertip input, and the size of the virtual keyboard will change as it detects whether you're using a stylus or your fingers. A nice touch.

There are four buttons on top that control full screen mode, font +/- size and volume up/down, depending on which application you're using. There's also a D-pad that works just like the Zaurus D-pad, as well as menu, back and home buttons. On the left side there is a pop-out camera that can be used with the Internet Chat app. There is also a hinged sort of kickstand to prop the unit up for optimal viewing. There are two slots for SD cards, one behind the battery cover and the other accessible from the bottom of the unit. An undocumented internal piece of hardware is an FM receiver!

The applications that ship with the unit are decent, such as Opera 8, which has the Flash player plugin (that means Youtube works, albeit at about 2 frames per second), a media player that handles the usual formats, such as mp3, wav, mp4 and 3gp among others, the previosly mentioned chat program that can handle voice and video, as well as text, a contact manager, a PDF reader and other utilities such as a calculator, a clock and a notes application. There are also a handful of games, which admittedly I don't play.

There is also a pretty good Application Manager which is used to install, update and remove programs. Like the Zaurus, you can install programs locally or via online repositories. The Backup/Restore program is straightforward. There's a Control Panel set of applets that handle the usual things such as hardware, date/time, display/sound and Bluetooth and Connectivity control.

Coming from the Zaurus, I was AMAZED at the ease in setting up bluetooth and wireless connectivity. Both were sort of hit or miss on the Zaurus, depending on the CF cards you bought. Because both are built into the N800, the device instantly found all my bluetooth hardware (two different phones and the keyboard). The Connectivity program found more wireless access points in my neighborhood than my laptop does. The signal is quite strong. And the places I've taken it are easily discovered as well, and so far have handled different WEP key lengths/bits with ease. Once it discovers an access point you get a dialog box pop-up asking if you'd like to store that information for later use. When you come back to that particular access point, it will automatically connect to it. Very nice.

As far as multimedia goes, this thing rocks. Prior to purchasing the N800, I had read all sorts of horror stories regarding playback of videos. Turns out most of the horror stories have so far proven to be untrue, at least in my case. There's a free java front-end to mencoder called Media Converter that has so far converted everything I've put to it and the output is quite playable, even at full screen, 30 fps resolution. But if the installed Media Player isn't to your liking, you can also install MPlayer. Personally, I prefer Media Player to MPlayer, but that's just me. It just seems more polished. I've also found a couple of Ogg players, neither of which are that spectacular, but they both work.

I've added a whole bunch of other programs, thanks to many of the repositories listed at downloads.maemo.org and garage.maemo.org. The usual suspects: XTerm, ssh server/client, rdesktop, Gaim, Minimo (although I far prefer Opera), Password Safe, Leafpad, FBReader, doc Reader, Gnumeric, SDict and a few games. I also found a decent FM radio applet to take advantage of the FM receiver.

You may have noticed earlier that I hadn't mentioned a calendar application that ships with the unit, because there isn't one installed. This really surprised me. However, the defense seems to be that the unit isn't meant to be a PIM. In any case, I installed the GPE set of PIM apps, so that was easily fixed.

For VoIP, I installed Gizmo Project. It works very well. There's an extremely sensitive mic located on the top side of the unit, so I've found that I need to find a fairly quiet area to use it and to speak a bit softer than I normally would. The mic picks up background noise very easily. I should be able to plug in a combo mic/headphone set, but haven't had the chance to test that yet. I've read that Skype will also be available for the N800 sometime in the second quarter.

What don't I like about the unit? I really wish they had included a hardcover case. It ships with a soft slip cover, which provides little to no protection. The first thing I did was go and buy a Targus padded PDA case. I've been able to get just under four hours of continuous use out of it with 50% backlight, bluetooth and wireless on, while with the Zaurus I could easily get close to six hours before having to recharge. I wish that both SD slots were externally accessible. The documentation states that each slot can handle up to 2 Gig, but I've been reading in various forums that 4 Gig cards are reported to work. I currently use two 2 Gig SD cards. I wish that the unit could funtion in USB host mode. I've read that this can actually be done, but haven't yet investigated.

As far as software, I've been able to find pretty much everything I need, with the exception of a good word processor. I was using TextMaker extensively on the Zaurus, so I really miss it. I have read that Abiword will work on the N800, but that's not been my experience. I can't get it to install. My workaround is to edit text in Leafpad, then transfer the text to my PC for later formatting. Not at all optimal.

After using the unit solidly for almost a week, I have to admit I would probably never go back to the Zaurus. First of all, it's been declared a dead product line by Sharp. Second, the Zaurus was never marketed to a western audience, whereas the N800 clearly is. There are obviously many more programs available for the Zaurus, as the developer community is much larger and has a few years head start over the Maemo developer community, but I have hopes that that will change. With the exception of a lacking word processor, I really can't think of any other program that I can't find for the N800. At some point I also want to purchase a GPS puck and pair it with the N800 to take advantage of the large screen. I could gush on and on about the screen, but that's been done all over the internet, so no one needs to read it yet again.

Teamed with the bluetooth keyboard, I'm finding I leave my laptop behind more. All in all, it's a great, ultra-portable device.
adf
Thanks, that was informative. I'm really releived to hear that it is such a good device, and doubly so to hear it from a Z user. If I didn't already have a 3100, and designs on a neo this fall, I'd happily consider buying one. As is I'll recommend people (the right sort) looking for handhelds look at the n800.
mars
Here are a few ramblings ...

I have a Nokia N800 and a 3100 (pdaxii3). My conclusion so far is that they are *different.* The Nokia has a better internet experience and the built-in wifi and bluetooth is quite handy. A bluetooth keyboard is also a perfect match. There are also some interesting applications such as maemo-mapper and a vehicle diagnostic program.

However, the Z is so far much more versatile -- consider the near daily compiling of new apps for pdaXrom by the community.

Nokia's hildon framework to me is a bit like qtopia (I know they aren't technologically similar) -- applications have to be customized for each and aren't typically a straight compile -- which is why there is not yet a plethora of apps for the nokia n800.

And while my bluetooth keyboard is great to type on, I need to bring and set up a second device (the keyboard) to do any reasonable typing. You still can't beat having the Z's keyboard. Having extra keys on the Z also comes in handy for the little things like increasing the screen brightness when the sun is blinding and you can't see the screen.

However, the nokia's screen is bigger and 800x480 which is nice.

For media playing, I actually prefer the Zaurus. I haven't had great success with mplayer on the nokia yet. For the internal media player on the nokia, you have to re-encode the videos or for my xvid encoded 320x480 videos, find a FourCC code changer so that the nokia thinks they are divx files. Mplayer on the zaurus is also better on advancing through the movie using the keyboard.

I also prefer xmms for my music too over the nokia's media player.

I am convinced now that you can really get on with just SD cards of which the nokia takes two. There is a kernel update to allow the use of SDHC cards on the N800 which means that 8GB cards are usable.

The nokia's built in low quality camera and FM radio are gimmicks to me.

Overall, I enjoy the Nokia, but it isn't a Zaurus replacement for me -- this is unfortunate, because I thought of selling my Z and all its paraphernalia. The nokia has a different set of virtues (primarily focused around an always connected device). For me, my use cases tend to favor the Zaurus.
speculatrix
thanks to rickh,mars for posting their comparitive reviews.

I'd been thinking about trying an N800 for a while. I started with an 860, then moved to a 6000, and when I broke it replaced it with a 3100 (the 770 was too flawed). I never really took to the 6000, as the keyboard was just a bit cumbersome - nowhere near as good as the clamshell models, but not quite bad enough to warrant carrying a mini keyboard, so it really just added bulk.

The odd thing is that I have used Palms for years (currently T3) without a keyboard: tho' I have a folding keyboard, I gave it to my wife as I am quite happy with the graffiti1 (downgraded from g2) input system - there again, I've never used command-line type apps on the Palm, nor word processing.

I know that if I did get an N800, I'd have to get the keyboard if it were to replace the Zaurus, so it'd suddenly be a lot more to carry, and in which case I'd rather use my Sony TX2!!

I'm tempted to buy my wife the N800 for her birthday as she likes the Z for web browsing, and wouldn't care about keyboard... then if I really liked it, I could buy another smile.gif
mars
speculatrix said:

QUOTE
The odd thing is that I have used Palms for years (currently T3) without a keyboard: tho' I have a folding keyboard, I gave it to my wife as I am quite happy with the graffiti1 (downgraded from g2) input system - there again, I've never used command-line type apps on the Palm, nor word processing.


Way back when I had a palm, graffiti worked just fine. And when I had an original iPaq pocketpc, calligrapher from phatware was awesome -- but I haven't found any handwriting recognition on a Linux handheld to get excited about.

The Nokia N800 also has a thumb typing mode where the keyboard takes up almost the whole screen -- it works a bit faster than the regular soft keyboard and pecking with the stylus.

If your wife likes reading books, the N800 is awesome in that respect with FBReader. My wife, for example, finds the Nokia to be better for reading books than the Zaurus (I guess too many buttons on the zaurus).
rickh
Just an update...

I was finally able to get Abiwordd installed, and so far, it works nicely! This totally made my day.

R.
==
ArchiMark
Well, I decided to take the plunge today and got a N800....

So far, it's great and having fun with it....

Very nice display and easy to use!

Will see how I feel a week from now after using it some more...

As others have said, it's a different animal than the Z but still has that Linux feel to it....

wink.gif
adf
looking forward to what you can tell us
chyang
I was tempted to buy a N800, mainly for it's large LCD.
But it is only available in US and Europe, I will wait for my friends to help get one, hopefully in the end of April.
I have a C3200, and have used 5500,C3000, Z is great, but Sharp doesn't seem to continue its development, so we may switch to other alternatives. sad.gif
ArchiMark
QUOTE(adf @ Apr 3 2007, 09:34 PM)
looking forward to what you can tell us
*



Well, adf, in the short time that I've had N800 I've really enjoyed it....

As I said before, definitely, different animal than the Z....but even though they have different feel to them, having used Z's has really helped me get productive on the N800 quickly...

I really love the display on the N800, it's a bit larger than the Z and higher res so that really helps when surfing the web, etc....very crisp, sharp, and bright display!!

One thing that has pleasantly surprised me is how little I miss having a built-in physical keyboard on the N800. Thought that this would really be something I'd end up seeing as a negative. Yet, the on-screen keyboard works very well and is quite intelligent as to when it pops-up automatically at bottom of display when needed...very nice touch (no pun intended....).

I am thinking of getting either a Nokia or Stowaway BT keyboard for heavier inputting...but don't feel any big rush right now....

Another nice touch is the built-in folding stand that has 2 positions. Very useful.

Also, what is nice I've found is the way the N800 feels in your hand holding it. Didn't realize before I actually got it and held it that the profile is thicker at the top than at the bottom. This is a nice touch when I lay it 'flat' on my desk, etc...as it just slightly tilts the N800 towards you, minimizes a bit reflections and easier to see.

N800 is quite slim and trim device, even with the cheapie sleeve that comes with it...fits nicely in my shirt pocket, better than Z....

Device navigation is good once you use it for awhile and get used to where things are....a bit unclear at first, but quickly figure things out...

WiFi implementation is excellent and elegantly done!!...probably best I've seen on any device...it just works!....

Software installs are easy once you figure out the way it works..similar to pdaXrom with feeds (called repositories...). Only thing that is funky is that there are multiple feeds around, so takes awhile to figure out what's where.....

There's not quite as many apps available as for Z yet, but list is growing steadily it seems for the N800/770....N800 can usually use apps compiled for 770, so that adds to the list...But as I understand it, 770 users can't use apps compiled for N800 as it has newer OS....

N800 has 2 SD card slots, one internal and one external...supposedly 4GB max card each...so can have plenty of storage....

I've purposely used N800 most of the time the past week instead of my 3200 so that I'd get used to it and see how I like it....

As to which is better, probably in the end depends....meaning depends on what is really important to you as the user....

The Z is the way to go if you like the mini-workstation aspect of the Z with pdaXrom....

The N800 is probably the way to go if you want a shirt-pocketable device that has built-in WiFi/BT and you want to surf the web/check and send emails wherever you go, and do other light tasks such as reading books, docs, etc...

Anyway, that's the report for now....hope this helps a bit....

Can try and answer some questions if I can....

wink.gif
adf
Sounds like the n800 is a kind of "next step" past my 6000/sharprom. Interesting, thanks.
BarryW
I ordered one this morning. At the moment MacMall has them the cheapest. I like having a pda that is still supported. It took me about two months to find the forums after the last "hiccup". PDAXrom's site is taking a crap now. Depending on weather I like the Nokia, my 3100 may be for sale in a month or two.
mdanehart
Excellent device with great battery life. Found mine on Ebay for 295.00 never opened!
rickh
Just want to give an update...

Im currently traveling with the device (and working with it as well). Initially, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to properly work. Im a translator, and most of the documents I translate need their formatting preserved.

So I found Abiword and figured it wouldnt be too much hassle. Well, Im able to actually complete work on the device, but I have to use a workaround of sorts. Note that Im using a bluetooth keyboard, so text input is quite easy.

The version of Abiword that runs decently is 2.2.4, ancient, really. It reads .doc files fine, but has trouble saving to that format. The menu options give you the choice to save in various formats, but it really doesnt. Heres where my workaround comes into play. I have a linux server hanging out on the internet, so I uploaded the file to the server, then used Abiword (a more recent version) on the server in command line mode to convert the file to Word format. It worked fine, the client was happy. I dont really like having to do that extra step, but it works for me.

I used Textmaker on the Zaurus all the time, and I gotta say, if they were to port it to the n800, it would rock.

For net access, I purchased a linksys travel router and that has worked flawlessly. I keep it plugged in in my hotel room, which has wired access and carry the n800 pretty much everywhere. There are plenty of wireless access points here (Madrid), so Ive not had trouble finding access outside the hotel.

Anyway, Im quite happy with it so far. I wouldnt trade it for anything else at the moment.

R.
==
ArchiMark
Update

FWIW, I thought I'd give a quick update on my earlier N800 post....

For a variety of reasons I decided to return the N800 about 2 weeks ago and really haven't missed it....

It's a nice device but compared to the Z it felt like something was missing...and not just the keyboard...after using it for a while it felt more and more like it was not a mature device yet compared to the Z...With the Z you have a much more mature OS and other OS choices and a much larger pool of devs and apps....

So after the initial novelty of a new toy wore off I just found myself wondering why I needed it...especially since I found the reality of being connected wirelessly everywhere really didn't work that way even in places where I thought I should be able to get connected....

Anyway, just my 2....
Fushnchupsh
tis a shame mark, but thanks. I was sincerely thinking about trading in my z for a n800. Guess that idea is nixxed. I love the mini laptop platform (not really the form factor, just the POWER!)

--Fish
zmiq2
So you are getting rid of both N800 and C3200 ?

Man. your wife must be really happy ... ;-)
BarryW
I'm digging mine so far. I haven't even turned on the Z since I got it.
ArchiMark
QUOTE(zmiq2 @ May 2 2007, 08:51 AM)
So you are getting rid of both N800 and C3200 ?

Man. your wife must be really happy ... ;-)
*



zmiq2, you got that right....

wink.gif
ArchiMark
Clarification of Previous Update...

Just for the record, not saying that N800 isn't a nice lil' unit....it is...

Just that found that for me the novelty wore off pretty quickly and that certain places that I thought I'd be able to surf the internet with it didn't work well...so then I felt like what do I really need this thing for....

HTH,

Mark
rickh
QUOTE(ArchiMark @ May 2 2007, 01:16 PM)
...especially since I found the reality of being connected wirelessly everywhere really didn't work that way even in places where I thought I should be able to get connected....

Back home now...

Just curious, but what exactly were the problems? My experience has been quite positive WRT wireless access. In my experience it's been much more seemless than it ever was with the Zaurus.

R.
==
ArchiMark
QUOTE(rickh @ May 6 2007, 10:58 AM)
QUOTE(ArchiMark @ May 2 2007, 01:16 PM)
...especially since I found the reality of being connected wirelessly everywhere really didn't work that way even in places where I thought I should be able to get connected....

Back home now...

Just curious, but what exactly were the problems? My experience has been quite positive WRT wireless access. In my experience it's been much more seemless than it ever was with the Zaurus.

R.
==
*



Didn't mean to give wrong impression, Rick, overall, N800 connects quite smoothly as you say....

However, I meant that in a few specific instances, for example, such as riding on BART in SF Bay area, it recognized WiFi network available but wouldn't connect always to it, one day it did and the next time it wouldn't...so was frustrated in that situation...

Again, N800 is very nice device but I think it has a more specific niche than a Zaurus...so if fulfills what you need/want it for, then great, otherwise, as for me, I found that after a week or two, I really wondered what I needed it for....

Again, this is just my take on it, YMMV...

wink.gif
chyang
Got my N800 for several days. I was pretty satisified with the device. Though the hardware side, only screen size/resolution and embedded camera/FM and internal RAM/Flash outperform my C3200, I do believe the software side is also a Win. The GUI is pretty beautiful and stable, I like the Opera with it, supports flash and more sites, also improves the responsiveness even with the low frequency CPU.
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