Glossy – MoLeNET

Blog of the Glossy MoLeNET Project

Nokia N810, it’s not a phone, but can I have ten please

At a management training session on Friday I was discussing various GPS devices with the Head of School who has a responsibility for Geography.

After discussing various options, we eliminated the Acer C530 as it comes with routing software, we decided against the Nokia N95 as without a contract it costs too much and with a contract is too much hassle and decided on the Nokia N810 (it’s not a phone you know). So we are going to get ten of these devices and see how they go.

The Nokia N810 which has a wireless capability does come with GPS and mapping software, however does not come with routing software (this is an €99 extra). The Head of School specifically did not want routing software, but wants to use GPS, so the N810 is ideal.

Nokia N810, it\'s not a phone, but can I have ten please

We are also going to subscribe to Digimap which will allow us as a college to utilise digitised ordnance survey maps within the college to design learning scenarios with the Nokia N810. The Nokia N810 does come with maps, but Digimap will allow us to use Ordnance Survey maps to create learning resources to use with the Nokia N810.

April 6, 2008 Posted by | acer c530, digimap, gps, n810, n95, nokia | Comments Off on Nokia N810, it’s not a phone, but can I have ten please

Nokia N810 – it’s not a phone!

A week or so back I managed to get my hands on a Nokia N810 as part of our MoLeNET project, one of many mobile devices we have got to support the project. These devices are for two main reasons, firstly from a learner support perspective, if they have them, how do they work and how does our mobile content play on them? Secondly to evaluate them from a college perspective so that if and when we get more mobile devices for our learners we can go with a device we have used, checked and know works. We can also use that information to advise and recommend devices to learners.

So what do I think of the Nokia n810?

Nokia N810 - it's not a phone!

So far I have been quite impressed with the Nokia N810, it is a neat smart device, which works as you expect it to work.

Browsing is good, as are other internet applications. It either uses wi-fi or you use a Bluetooth connection to your phone and use your phone’s 3G data connection. Thing to remember is that it is not a phone!

I found the keyboard though small, much easier and better than any mobile phone keypad for typing in text and the predictive text entry means you can go quite fast.

Haven’t yet tried video on the device as in an actual video file, tried it with an online video, BBC’s iPlayer, and the Flash video playback was very poor, jerky and unwatchable. I am guessing that is a similar reason why Apple have not implemented Flash on the iPhone and the iPod touch – though I have also heard it was more down to PDF reading and implementation!

Battery life is good and much better than a lot of UMPCs out there, so it has that going for it.

The Register has a really detailed and good review of the Nokia n810 on their website.

Nokia’s approach for the N810 is pretty simple: phone screens are too small for decent web browsing, so surely a separate portable device that has a bigger screen and Wi-Fi connectivity is needed for serious portable web access.

Their verdict?

Taken at face value, Nokia’s N810 not a bad box of tricks. For surfing the web, email and as an internet communication device it is a handy little gadget, while the operating system is easy to use, feature rich and robust. The relative abundance of software is another plus. But that lack of a SIM slot does niggle just a bit.

I believe that the Nokia n810 is a great portable internet device for learning and I really like it.

I don’t believe it is suitable as a device to give to learners, for two main reasons, number one it is expensive for what it does, two, it is too “delicate” and “stylish” and I don’t think it is robust enough to be given out to students in the way that a PSP or even an iPod touch could be given out.

Post originally appeared on e-Learning Stuff.

March 17, 2008 Posted by | 3g, flash, gps, n810, nokia, review, wi-fi | 2 Comments

PDA with GPS

As part of our Glossy Project we are looking at the differences between learners using their own devices and the college providing devices.

One particular lecturer was interested in using PDAs with GPS capability. After difficulties in finding a suitable product, in the end I went for a “cheap and cheerful” product, the Acer C530, this is a Windows Mobile device with GPS capabilty built in (through a large external aerial).

PDA with GPS

Summary of features

  • 300MHz processor
  • 64MB SDRAM / 128MB ROM
  • 2.8 inch, TFT-LCD Touchscreen display with 320 x 240 QVGA resolution
  • 108 x 58 x 16.8 mm / 122g
  • Bluetooth® 1.2 / Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • Integrated SiRF Star III LP GPS receiver
  • CoPilot 6 Navigation Software with Full Maps of UK, Ireland & Western Europe
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system
  • Full MS Office Mobile Suite
  • Includes Window mount, AC & car charger, case
  • EU map coverage: including UK and Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Benelux, Italy, Scandinavia (up to 100% coverage), Spain and Portugal, Russia (detailed coverage in Moscow and St. Petersburg).

The key thing with this device is that it has a rather small screen for what is quite a bulky device.

I was impressed it came with Pocket TV which is a much better application for playing back video than the included Mobile Windows Media Player which comes as standard with Windows Mobile.

So far all I have really done with the device is charge it up (well once I remembered to put the battery in it).

I have not yet managed to get the GPS working, but I know that is because I am indoors and GPS can be so flaky when you are indoors. In a previous life I had a TomTom GPS unit I used with my Sony Ericsson P910i phone and that never worked until I took it outdoors.

It’s raining, so I am not going outside.

The problem with GPS is that it kills the battery fast, so it’s nice to see that the box comes with an included car charger (not that our learners will be using that) but also that it can be charged via USB.

As for expandability it comes with a SD card slot which means at least I am not going to need to find another different memory card format as I seem to be having to do with phones.

Alas it doesn’t have sound recording capability which would have been nice, but then at the price it was much cheaper than more powerful PDA GPS options, currently £176 at Amazon which includes VAT.

February 29, 2008 Posted by | acer c530, gps, pda | 1 Comment

Which GPS PDA?

In the Glossy project one of our teachers is interested in using GPS enabled PDAs with a group of LDD students.

Tasked with finding a suitable device (and with sustainability in mind) I looked at one of the HP GPS devices, and one was ordered for trials.

Alas it would seem we had issues with the supplier who keeps promising (as they do)…

Lilian (mentor) told me about a useful website, Total PDA. http://www.totalpda.co.uk/ which sells all kinds of GPS PDAs.

So in mind to look at different models I wondered which way to go.

I was lucky enough (in my Mentor role) to visit the Wider Weston project based in Weston-super-Mare, lead college is Weston College. They are using the TyTyn (pronounced Titan and not TinTin as I thought) PDAs which in conversation I found out are GPS enabled.

Which GPS PDA?

So I think I have found my GPS PDA, thanks Vicki and Andrew.

February 8, 2008 Posted by | gps, hp, pda, tytyn | Comments Off on Which GPS PDA?