If you're still trying to figure out what to get that somebody special in your life, you're a little late. If you happen to get some cash instead of gifts this Holiday Season, these two items I just got might be an interesting purchase.
I don't have too many initial thoughts on the N810 because it's still early days. I'm doing my best to see how adding another mobile device in my life fits. I guess the main hurdle for me was the realization that this is not a phone. It's just Internet. So, when I'm not in a wireless zone, the device is a brick. When I am in a wireless zone, it's pretty sleek and lots of fun. I'm still grappling with why I would use the N810 over firing up my Sony Vaio VGNTZ160CB - but I think that's another main point: most people do not have an ultra-portable laptop with them at any given time, so having a mobile Web device like the N810 is pretty rocking. Whether it's checking out YouTube, Blogging, Skype, or reading your email. It's small, the battery seems to last a long while and the touch screen (there's a stylus too) is really responsive. It's fun to have (especially because there are no iPhones in Canada - yet) and the screen is B-I-G.
I'll do a more in-depth review on the Nokia N810 as I integrate more into my daily life (especially when it comes to travelling). Also, if anybody else has the N810, I'd love some tech support on how to get the video camera rolling (I can't seem to figure that out).
Next up is something I loved the moment I heard about it. When I was at Google speaking, I spent some time hanging out with Avinash Kaushik (Analytics Evangelist - Google, Occam's Razor and author of Web Analytics - An Hour A Day). Avinash travels as much as I do, so anyone talking about good travel gear gets my attention. Most hotels still don't have wireless access and, if they do, it tends to suck compared to plugging in. The problem with plugging in is that you're tethered to those terrible desks (and even worse chairs). Avinash introduced me to the D-Link Wireless Pocket Router. It's awesome. You just plug in the network cable and *poof* it's a wireless router. The best part of it is the form factor. It's tiny. It's about 2 1/2 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide and thinner than you could imagine. It also runs off of an electrical outlet or USB powered. It was about fifty bucks and it just arrived. I'm in love.
The other reason I love it is because one of my major travel gripes is that hotels still charge anywhere from 10 - 25 bucks a day for Internet access (I'm biting my tongue to not go off on a rant here). Here's my small opportunity to "stick it to the man" - from now on, anyone in a hotel room nearby is more than welcome to hop on to my network. I'll be sharing that access as far and as wide as possible.
So, I did a little pre-Holiday gift opening (and playing). There will still be some cookies and milk left out tonight in hopes of scoring a HD DVD player or a new camcorder.
I've been pretty nice this year (maybe I should block comments on this Blog posting ;), but I'm thinking that a little naughty might also have gone a long way in getting me these two gems.