First Steps With Your Nokia Tablet

So, you've bought a Nokia N810 or N800 internet tablet and you're now wondering what to do with it. To help you out, here's a brief guide to the first things you should do after getting it home.


[edit] First walk-through

Check out this introductory video to get started.

[edit] Check everything is in the box

The box should contain:

  • The tablet itself (probably with a plastic film across the screen for shipping)
  • Two styluses (one of them may be inserted in the tablet, the other is a spare)
  • Battery (probably in a plastic pouch for shipping)
  • Charger
  • USB cable (miniUSB for the N800, microUSB for the N810)
  • Possibly a memory card, the size seems to vary depending on where you buy it.
  • A "Getting Started" pamphlet
  • A pouch for the tablet
  • 3.5mm earphones, which are actually a headset too as they contain a microphone in the large plastic section of the lead.
  • The N810 includes a mounting kit for fitting it in your car, so you can use it for satellite navigation. The N800 does not have this kit.

If anything is missing and you've bought the tablet new, contact the shop you bought it from as it's their responsibility to supply a complete product. Do this as soon as you notice something is missing.

If you've bought the tablet second hand, you may need to replace any missing items yourself. Always check for a list of contents before buying a used item, so that you know exactly what comes with it.

[edit] Charge the tablet until it's full

Put the battery into the tablet, making sure the prongs of the tablet match up to the prongs of the battery.

Plug the tablet in to charge using the charger that comes with it. Alternatively you can use chargers for Nokia phones as they are all compatible with each other, though the phone chargers tend to be slower than the tablet chargers.

You do NOT need to drain the battery before charging. The tablets use modern lithium batteries which do not require draining at all. If anyone has told you to drain the battery, they're wrong, don't listen to them. Some laptop batteries may require draining, but tablet batteries do not.

Charging an empty tablet battery should take from 1.5 hours to 4 hours, depending on what kind of charger you're using and other factors. If the battery isn't empty, charging will be faster. It's absolutely fine to charge a half-empty tablet battery, because lithium batteries have no "memory effect".

When the tablet has fully charged, you will see a message on its screen telling you so. Unplug the charger, but do not switch the tablet on.

[edit] Update the tablet's firmware

Before you start using the tablet for the first time, it's important to update its firmware first.

There are many good reasons for this. If you've bought the tablet new, the latest firmware will be the most reliable and contain the most features. If you've bought the tablet used, updating the firmware will restore the tablet to factory condition.

If you're not sure what firmware is, or how you can update it, see our complete tutorial at the link in the Maemo beginner's guide. Note that if you've just got your tablet you do not need to do any of the backup procedures described in the article, you can skip straight to the section on actually doing the firmware update.

[edit] Connecting to the internet via Bluetooth

If you want to connect the tablet to the internet through your mobile phone, switch on its Bluetooth and make sure it's near the tablet.

The Nokia tablets can connect to the internet through Wi-Fi and through a Bluetooth mobile phone. Your tablet can connect through your phone as long as it's within 10 metres / 10 yards, so for example you could keep the phone in your pocket or bag while using the tablet.

When you switch the tablet on for the first time after a firmware update, it will ask you about setting up this kind of phone connection, so you might want to have your phone ready with its Bluetooth switched on.

However, the phone connection is totally optional, you can just use Wi-Fi if you prefer.

If you don't want to use your phone to connect the tablet, you can skip the part about setting up a phone connection. If you later decide you do want to use a phone after all, you can easily go back to the set-up process.

Note that phone internet connections can be very expensive or very cheap, depending on what your network operator charges and what kind of plan you're on. Contact your network operator and tell them you want to use your phone as a Bluetooth modem (that "modem" word is very important, don't just say you want to use the internet). Ask them how much this would cost and whether they have any special deals such as monthly flat fees. If it's too expensive for you, don't use the phone to connect your tablet.

[edit] Switch on the tablet and set up its internet connection

You're now ready to switch on the tablet for the first time!

On the first switch-on after a firmware update, the tablet will ask you the time and date, and then ask you about setting up a mobile phone connection. If you don't want to use your phone to connect the tablet to the internet, just press cancel when it asks about the phone. You can always go back to this setup process later if you want.

You will then see the tablet desktop, where we can set up the Wi-Fi connection (also known as a "WLAN" connection).

Once you've got your tablet connected to the internet by either wi-fi or phone, you can try out all its main features.

[edit] Try out the tablet's main features to make sure they work properly

Now that your internet tablet has been connected to the internet, it's time to take it for a spin and see if everything is working properly.

The three icons on the left are the most important: the Web icon, Contacts icon and Applications icon.

  • The Web menu lets you open a new browser window, or select a bookmark. The web browser is based on the same technology as Firefox, and should render web pages in a similar way to a computer running Firefox. The tablet browser has Flash, AJAX and Javascript support, so you can visit almost all sites that a PC can. Click here to find out more about browsing the web in our tablet browser tutorial.
  • The Contacts menu is used to access the tablet's own built-in e-mail, internet phone, internet video and instant messaging applications. You can use other third party applications instead, but they will appear in the Applications menu rather than the Contacts menu. Click here to find out more about using the tablet's built-in e-mail application, and also click here to find out more about using the tablet's built-in internet video call application.
  • The Applications menu is used to access the tablet's other built-in applications, third party applications (such as Skype) and all of the tablet settings. If you install extra applications these tend to appear in the "Extras" section of the Applications menu.

Try out the different features, especially those that are important to you.

If something doesn't work, new tablets all come with a 1 or 2 year guarantee (depending on where you buy them in the world) which means you should be able to get free repairs or a replacement if it doesn't work properly. You can find out more by going to and selecting your country. The guarantee doesn't apply to used tablets though.

[edit] If it works, enjoy

If all of the above works, then great! Here's how to get the most out of your tablet.

A Screen protector will help to keep your devices screen intact, even when putting the device in the same pocket as your keys.

One could start with Getting media content onto your tablet -article because own music and videos are an easy way to make device personal and carry your favourite media with you all the time.

If you want to get the most out of your tablet, beginners should check out the New users -article which contains lots of information for beginners.

You may also want to visit's forums if you have problems. Try to use the "Search" option to see if your question has been asked before, and if you can't find the answer to your problem you could try starting a new topic detailing your problem.

It's worth remembering that the tablets provide something for people of all skill levels. You don't need to do anything nerdy to get a lot out of the tablets, their built-in applications are good enough for most people's internet-related needs. There are two categories: Beginners and Power users

But the tablets are designed in a way that also leaves the door open for those who do want to mess around "under the bonnet", so it keeps them happy too. If you have a feeling that you want to mess around, go ahead and browse through Power users category articles!

[edit] Memory card

If you want to use your tablet for music and/or videos, you should buy a bigger memory card than the one that comes bundled with the tablet.

The N800 can use SD cards and SDHC cards up to any capacity, the official limit is 8 gigabytes but unofficially much bigger cards work too. It can also use microSD, microSDHC, miniSD and miniSDHC cards as long as they have an adaptor to make them physically SD-sized. The N800 can hold two memory cards at once.

The N810 can use miniSD and miniSDHC cards, or microSD and micrdSDHC cards with an adaptor to make them miniSD-sized. As on the N800, the cards can be any capacity, with the official limit being 8 gigabytes but unofficially bigger cards work too. The N810 can only hold one memory card at once, because it has a non-removable 2 gigabyte memory card built into itself.

You do NOT need to use Nokia-brand memory cards, any manufacturer's cards will do. Other brands such as SanDisk and Kingston are fine as long as you buy them from a reputable electronics shop. Try not to buy used memory cards or cards from online auction sites as they may not be very reliable.