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I've had my n800 a couple of weeks now, and I'm still in the "lovin it!" phase; but one of the things I've quickly noticed is that being an n800 owner is quickly going to become an expensive affair.

I'm a novice PDA person, in fact this is the first one I've brought, previous companies have leant me smart-phone PDA's so actually buying one was a big commitment to me... we all know that computer technology, especially gadgets have a limited lifespan.

To ensure I get the most out of my n800, I insisted on buying the Navicore "sat nav" upgrade, my reasoning being that if n800's basic functionality doesn't meet my needs that sat nav functionality will be invaluable... I'm always getting lost!! This decision was in it's self an expensive move; the n800 is £280... ok not bad for such a feature rich pda, but the navicore pack is £150, half the price again!

In the time I've had n800 the navicore software has been great, it's got me door to door when I don't know where I'm going, and when I do just having it on and "beeping" when I'm near a traffic camera is a real bonus for me, but in my day to day use of n800 I'm wondering if I could have spent the money better else where?

To start with the case that come in the n800 pack, is a flimsy felt thing, ok so it'll protect the screen from the odd scratch, but other than that I've got to be careful that it doesn't [a] fall out my pocket or [b] have something sharp (like a parker pen) "poke it". It looks like a leather case is about £35 and a screen protector would also be a good idea, that'd be another £6, I guess in relation to what I've already paid out that doesn't seem like a lot (well excluding postage).

The expense really starts to stock up when you look at the usability, you get a 120Mb Mini-SD card, which is enough to store a little music (I have two cds) and a short video (I have 30mins), this is not exactly a library of entertainment to choose from if you have to hop on a train for an hour where an internet connection is non-existent; it appears that memory hard range from a modest £10 (512mb) to £50 (8Gb) considering there are two slots and you can't yet run n800 as a usb host to connect a usb disk to, what you spend here really is dependent on how often you are "removed" from the net. A final area to look at on my radar would be the usability, I'm typing this on my laptop, I could use my n800 but trying to use the handwriting thing or the touch keyboard is so slow it's frustrating, so I'm looking at a bluetooth keyboard but look they're another £75.

Of course there are other bits and pieces you might need, like chargers or spare batteries so, if you're looking to buy an n800, be prepared. As you can see I only budgeted for n800 + navicore and I feel now that I should have thought further; that said, I'm still happy, and the other stuff will just have to be brought in good time, just make sure you buy the right accessory's for you !

Disclaimer: The n800 is an Internet Tablet, not a PDA, but I don't buy that marketing B*&\$£!"£% 



Nick Bettison ©