The other day whilst having a few pints with an ex Nokia colleague we turned, inevitably, to what was happening with the industry, in particular the vast range of qwerty keyboard devices coming on the market.
Everywhere you look new handsets with slide out, thumb board, flip out and virtual keyboards have scattered themselves in the consumer market with the future epiphany of the type fated as Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X1.
Yet for the business users the single most important element, the keyboard, is always a let down.
Thinking back to the latter half of the 90’s the Nokia 9000, so big the police could describe this as an offensive weapon, gave us the first practical office in a mobile; but for my drinking buddy and I the Psion 5mx/Ericsson MC218 were the best with their perfect tactile keyboard and svelte shape.
Since then Nokia have given us the 9110, 9210, 9500, 7710 and the E90, the latter feeling like a backward step with a kludged S60 UI seemingly not meriting the time or effort that this form factor deserves.
So what would make the best Nokia mobile office? Practically this would derive from their experience with the Internet Tablet.
From the Nokia 770 to the future N810 WiMAX edition, this Linux based range has the best chance to meet my hopes.
Blend the superior ergonomics of Psion’s 5mx with a decade’s worth of development within the N810 WiMax (with its large high resolution screen, memory, VoIP/Skype, GPS and Linux OS) then add tri-band HSDPA, HDMI out or micro projector (2009?), plus a quality suite of office applications and push email, and you have for me the perfect mobile office solution. (ed: That's called a micro-laptop.. something that Nokia says it won't do)
Though Nokia could just buy OQO instead, it’s the patented Psion keyboard and design that would make a best seller; shame it’ll never happen.