Priced at $350, the Internet Tablet is being positioned as an alternative to buying an extra personal computer or laptop for different rooms, providing a cheaper, quicker and less-cumbersome way to connect to the Web.
While fairly unique in terms of its handheld size, the Internet Tablet can be seen as the latest in a long line of attempts to create a so-called "Internet appliance" - a TV-like device providing easy access to the Web and basic tasks such as e-mail for which the computing power of a full-blown PC is unnecessary.
Last week, PalmOne. Inc. unveiled a $500 device called the LifeDrive, essentially a cross between a mobile media player, portable hard drive and an organizer. The LifeDrive features 4 gigabytes of internal storage and a high-resolution screen for on-the-road access to music, video, digital photos, e-mail and office documents. It also offers Wi-Fi wireless capability to connect with the Web and corporate networks remotely.
By contrast, the Nokia tablet is designed specifically for Web browsing and personal e-mail, primarily at home, though its Wi-Fi transmitter can also connect with public and commercial hot spots.
And while it comes with a slot for removable storage to play music or video, as well as software to play and view such media, the tablet also is not intended as a rival to Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod or other MP3 music players, according to Nokia.
The new device, weighing half a pound, is three-quarters of an inch thick, 5.6 inches wide, and 3.1 inches deep. The touch-screen display is 4.1 inches long measured diagonally.
In one similarity to Nokia's smart phones, the tablet employs the Opera browser from Opera Software ASA.
There's also a USB port to connect with a PC and a Bluetooth transmitter that can be used to connect with a mobile phone that has cellular online access.