It's been one and a half weeks since I got my N810 and I had some time to play around with most of its features.
What I like
The N810 is a bit smaller than the N800 and 770 and easily fits a jeans pocket. The size is just perfect for an internet tablet. It's tiny, reasonably thin, but still features a screen big enough for enjoying multimedia and the web.
For the first time, Nokia included a usable carrying case with an internet tablet. If you remember the "sock" that came with the 770 and the "shades sleeve" of the N800 (where the device slipped out easily), you know what's unusable. The N810 case is still a soft case, but the device won't slip out and the upper hardware keys are still accessible.
The surface and back of the device are made of brushed metal and look very noble compared to the toy-look of the N800. No other internet tablet can beat the speakers of the N800 but the tiny speakers to the left and right side of the N810 produce surprisingly good sound. The builtin stand is solid and has three positions. That's one more than the N800 has.
There is finally a hardware keyboard which can be slid out. Of course, it's not a full-size keyboard, but the keys are good to press with your thumbs. I especially like the fact that it has backlight and is thus usable in the dark. I always hate it when I can't properly see my laptop keyboard in the dark. The stickiness of the shift and Chr keys was a good idea and it makes typing reasonbly fast.
The stickiness is important because you usually don't want to hold down the shift key while pressing a letter when typing with only two thumbs. There is also a builtin GPS receiver together with preinstalled map software.
The map software is simply a light version of the Navicore / Wayfinder navigation software. If you have a valid Navicore or Wayfinder license, you can unlock the navigation functions of the map software. As a 770-Navicore user I simply entered my key and, hey presto, I had the current Navicore (which is now called Wayfinder, since they bought Navicore) installed on the N810.
Luckily, the N810 comes with the appropriate car holder. When I got the N800 I was annoyed by the fact that it didn't fit the car holder from my 770-Navicore.
Some people reported problems with the GPS receiver, but I got a GPS fix rather quickly even on a totally foggy dark winter morning.
I also want to point out that the new OS 2008 seems to be very stable and I didn't experience a single crash so far! It's also nice that you can now lock the screen and keys with a hardware key. Very handy!
What I don't like
Of course the N810 isn't perfect. Here's my rant.
Who designed the carrying case? It looks as if I was carrying a medical device around. The look just does not fit a high-tech internet device! I hate the size of miniSD cards (and even more so the size of microSD!).
My card readers and the N800 take full-size SD cards. Whenever I want to put a miniSD card into my N800 or the card reader, I have to fiddle with an awkward adapter. Totally annoying! The micro-USB port is also annoying because now I have an extra cable attached to my computer.
The car holder has a big bulk of plastic on the top. This was totally unnecessary and I might eventually cut off this part. While I understand that the device leaves no place for cursor keys anymore, I find it bothersome to pull out the keyboard everytime I want to use the cursor keys or the center button.
The map software lets you download new maps off the internet, but this never worked for me. Not on my N800 and not on my N810. The Wayfinder download server must be seriously broken as many users report problems downloading maps. The included map of Germany & Alps (2008) shows no difference to the map update of Navicore (2007) or the map included with Navicore (2006). And even the 2006 map wasn't up to date then. I still miss major roads built in 2006 on the 2008 map! For example, look at the B2 between Donauwoerth and Augsburg. The parts built in 2006 are still missing!
And the map has bugs, too. For example, it shows Technische Universitaet Munich in a totally different town. Not to mention some POIs to be placed wrongly. I have no navi to compare, but I suspect that all navis using Teleatlas maps have the same problems.
The new MicroB web browser shows very buggy behaviour when panning with the stylus. Sometimes it works, sometimes it jumps nervously around, sometimes it just selects text. The browser is also a bit slower than Opera on the N800 used to be.
The position of the light sensor is also not optimal as it's too easy to cover it with your fingers while holding the tablet.