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Nokia Booklet 3G

The whirlpool of discussions and heated debates surrounding Nokia's first netbook has developed into a storm, as many have questioned the rationale behind this product - whether it's good for Nokia's business, as it widens their target audience, or it'll simply be a waste of resources, which is uncalled-for in the current market environment. Over the short period of time since its official announcement Nokia's netbook has already made all the headlines around the globe. We manage to take a peek at the Booklet during Nokia World 09, play around with it and see if its OS was quick at all.

Nokia has managed to pull a very smart trick with their first netbook - not only have they given it a very unique face that doesn't look like any other offering, they have also adorn it with certain elements that make the Booklet really close to Apple's product and Dell's or Sony's greatest offsprings. As far as design is concerned, the Nokia Booklet has hit the bullseye.

Now for its casing. In actuality, it's not the most portable notebook we've seen at 264x185x19.9 mm, but its splendid keyboard more than makes up for that. The top half is made of glossy plastic with colors available (at least from what we saw at Nokia World): black or white. The underside of the notebook is made up of several sections, one of which feels like metal, while all others appeared to be made out of plastic. The build quality (based on my brief experience with the Booklet) is sublime. The Booklet is relatively light at 1.2 kg; it doesn't send shivers down your spine when you grab hold of it, but the Booklet does leave an impression of a well-built device.

The netbook will come pre-installed with Windows 7, and the engineering samples that I played around with at Nokia World 09 already had it in them. As for their speed, well, maybe Nokia will blame the early versions of the OS, but from I saw, it wasn't blazing fast at all - it froze a couple of times and some applications launch time was way over 40 seconds. Although I do want to believe that the Booklet's hardware will be just enough to work with documents and browse the web - at the end of the day, it's Atom and it has proven to have sufficient resources for these tasks.

The Booklet boasts a decent 10.1 inch display with a 1280x720 pixel resolution and great viewing angles (compared ot the Toshiba NB200 that I had with me in Stuttgart), that can hold its own against the best netbooks around. Surprisingly, the Booklet does come equipped with a very comfy keyboard (for a netbook, that is) - Nokia decided not to re-invent the wheel and simply armed their first notebook with sizable and concave buttons, which provide higher-than-average level of comfort. In fact, you won't even feel that you are typing on a tiny ten-inch netbook, instead of a PC or a regular-sized notebook.

Now for the battery time. Nokia's representative took a safer route answering that question and simply listed the numbers from the Booklet's spec sheet: 12 hours on a single charge. Obviously, we weren't quite satisfied with that, asked again and he started talking - judging from what he said, the Booklet lasted 7 to 8 hours if the user did nothing but browse web, work with documents and check mail.

It's still a bit too early to talk about the possibility of Nokia building an ecosystem around their Booklet - first, we need to wait and see how it fares on the market. Will Nokia roll out more netbooks, or even Maemo-based notebooks? Read more about that in our exclusive interviews tomorrow.

There are plenty of people who have been impressed by Nokia's Booklet, but the other group, where they find this turn of events strange, to say the least, isn't small either. The only thing that makes the Nokia Booklet a questionable affair is its price tag - 500 Euro for most European market. Just think about it: 500 Euro for what is by far not the most capable netbook out there, not the most feature-rich, although it does have a "Made by Nokia" sign. Obviously, its sales will show whether Nokia were right in choosing this part or not - after all, the Booklet is nothing but an experiment on Nokia's part, and that's the only way to look at it.

Nokia Booklet 3G's spec sheet

Artem Lutfullin (artem.lutfullin@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Oleg Kononosov (oleg.kononosov@mobile-review.com)

Published — 03 September 2009

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