nokian810The E Ink screen on the new Sony Reader is brighter and definitely has more contrast, according to Mike Cane, a hardware-fondler extraordinaire.

But there’s still one big, gaping omission beyond lack of a color screen—no keyboard for searching.

Enter the new Nokia N810, successor to the 770 and the 800. Search probs over, at least if this photo is any clue. Oh, and behold that inviting LCD screen! Alas, as Kevin Tofer at jkOnTheRun has noticed, there’ s no WiMax. I also wonder if the linux-based N810 and related Nokia models will end up someday with a compatible Mobipocket version so we can read DRM-infested books on them. That said, remember there’s always FBReader, which already has primitive .epub capabilities and should be gaining more; compatible content is already available from Feedbooks. What’s more, if you’re worried about glare from the LCD, you can use FBReader’s color-changer to darken it a tad.

Kevin spotted the N810 news at Internet Table Talk, along with a gallery of official images. Unfortunately the just-given ITT link isn’t working right now.

Related: Other N810 stories via Google, including, I see now, an Engadget account.

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  1. Looking at the images (the ones I saw don’t have clear images of all sides), I’m not seeing as many buttons on the front/sides; this may turn out to be a little problematic for e-book use. It’s nice to have conveniently placed buttons for page scrolling, without having to open up the keyboard…

    I *just* picked up a N800, so it’s no surprise to me that they immediately announce the next model… :-) I have played a bit with the N800 now, and found it surprisingly nice as a reader. I read an entire novel using FBReader; while I would still prefer a larger screen, once I got buttons arranged to my satisfaction, using it in portrait mode an adequate amount of text can be on-screen, with a very nice display. I think FBReader’s epub display was nicer than the rich-text display (how much was due to source and how much the reader isn’t clear to me); seemed to do fine with a Palm-formatted file, too, but I think I’m going to convert my .lit files (all non-DRM, most from Baen) to .epub for reading on the N800. Setting it up with the positive zoom button for page down lets me use it comfortably single-handed in portrait mode.

    I suppose this isn’t the right spot for an N800 review, so I’ll pause here… :-) The keyboard on the N810 looks interesting, but I think if I were looking for a device with easier text entry, I would want something larger. The on-screen keyboard on the N800 is perfectly adequate for occasional text entry — I wouldn’t want to write many e-mails with it, but for entering URLs or search terms, it’s good enough, I think.

    –John N.

  2. I see Engadget now has a second, much more extensive, picture gallery up, which shows the keys on the top, so left-handed use in portrait mode should still be fine (and it looks to me as if the power button is farther away from the zoom buttons, so less risk of hitting the wrong button). Also looks to have a larger battery than the N800, so maybe longer runtime…

    –John N.

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