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The Nokia N900 is an entirely new creature – a truly mobile mini computer that takes multi-tasking off the desktop and puts it right in your hands. Powered by the Linux-based Maemo 5 operating system, the N900 starts with the sharpest, smoothest web browsing available anywhere. The Mozilla browser breezes through websites (even those peppered with rich Adobe Flash flourishes), letting you enjoy multimedia experiences on the move, while the combo of a pixel-plenty 800 x 480 touchscreen and slide-out Qwerty keyboard give you maximum control.

Maemo Select will let you download the latest apps, themes and wallpapers – including social networking apps and Skype – to its substantial 32GB stomach, with more apps arriving every week. Being an Nseries device, it’s no surprise to find an autofocus 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, A-GPS (with Ovi Maps and geo-tagging), Wi-Fi and HSDPA access, and even an FM transmitter. Road warriors are welcome, too, thanks to on-board file readers, intelligent shortcuts, plus comprehensive contact and messaging options that include support for Exchange mail.

The N900 deftly straddles that otherwise uncharted territory between laptop and smartphone, in this case between the Booklet 3G and the N97. A first of its kind for Nokia, the open source N900 is a virtually a blank canvas, which is perhaps most exciting as we’re only just glimpsing its potential, and the best is yet to come for this debut Maemo device.