Nokia N800 Internet Tablet with Flash 9: First impressions

I just received my Nokia N800 Internet Tablet and, after checking with Paul (who just got a N770 himself at a ridiculously low price from Expansys) that it worked, got home and flashed the system software to the latest version that was released this month. The N800 runs Linux and this latest system image comes with Flash 9.

If you're on OS X, there are instructions available on how to upgrade the N800's system image on OS X. Make sure you download the latest N800 system image from here though, since the URL in those instructions is for the N770. (And, you don't have to remove the battery on the N800 to get the information you need to download the upgrade.) I downloaded the latest system image, which, at the time of this post, was called RX-34_2007SE_4.2007.26-8_PR_COMBINED_MR0_ARM.bin. Finally, place the and the system image on the root of your hard drive because I believe that the app has a problem with complicated folder names (it didn't work for me when I had in my /Applications folder and the system image in my Web Downloads folder.)

So, how does the N800 perform with Flash 9 content?

What can I say? The first thing I tried was the SWX Service Explorer, which is a Flex 2 application. And it ran. I'm floored right now. This is the first time I'm seeing a Flex application run on a device. It's not snappy but it's not unusable either. Wow! No script timeouts or anything. Love it! :)

Next, I went to and got the logo but it never went further to display the aquarium (it didn't throw any errors or freeze either). Fair enough, that was a though test.

It's too late and I'm too tired to try anything else out on it tonight but it's so promising. This should be able to handle pretty much any Flash content thrown at it.

Other stuff in brief:

One word of warning: The stylus that it came with appears to have scratched the screen. I tested with the backup stylus in the box and that one didn't do it initially but appears to be scratching it now. I may end up sending this unit back and getting another one as the scratches look to be permanent. What a shame. I can't believe they skimped on the stylus (or didn't provide a scratch-resistant surface/scratch protector.) I mean, I've only been playing with it for half an hour.

Update: Ah, just read this:

On a brand new n800, it had towards the bottom left side of the screen, a silver squared tab. I assumed this tab was there to pull out the whole plastic that commonly covers the whole screen and comes from factory, to protect the screen during transportation.

So, I pulled it and suddenly, only the silver tab, came off the screen. This really seemd strange but, I tought, oh well, there was no factory plastic after all, just a little silver tab sticker.... I really didn't notice, until days later, that there was left something that looked like some kind of "screen protector" film.

I noticed that "protective film" since, after a week of normal use, the screen appeared to look scratched.

When I was at Paul's the same thing happened to me. I thought nothing of it. So apparently it's the temporary screen protector that didn't come off that's getting scratched. Whew! :)

I can't wait to play with this baby more in the coming days :)