Last night I had the chance to spend some time with the Nokia Booklet 3G, Nokia’s new netbook, and I have to say – it’s dang impressive. Comparing side-by-side to my trusty Asus 1000HE, the Booklet 3G is smaller, lighter, and built *much* more solidly. It’s also alot sexier, thanks to the aluminum body and glass screen.
The Booklet 3G is powered by the Intel Atom Z530 processor, which is part of the reason it’s able to boast 12 hours of battery life and full HD video (720p) playback, as well as an HDMI-out port, so you can connect it up to your TV, if you wanted. It will run Windows 7 Starter or Windows 7 Home Premium, and will most likely be available through your operator. It will also come with only 1GB of RAM, and that’s *not* user-upgradeable, unfortunately.
In terms of software, they’re really working on bringing it to the consumer with as little bloatware (or crapware, as the Nokia rep last night called it) as possible. It will have a new Nokia Update application that will check that you always have the latest version of Nokia’s Ovi Suite 2.0 (which is currently in beta, but should be ready for the Booklet’s debut) and other Nokia applications.
The keyboard is extremely comfortable – I had no problem touch-typing, similar to my Asus 1000HE. You can see a pic of the keyboard below, to get an idea of the layout and size of the keys. The touchpad is small, and is not currently multi-touch compatible, like the one on my Asus 1000HE. However, I was able to give some feedback to the product manager on that, and he said it’s likely something we’ll see in the future. Also, the keyboard is not currently backlit, and when I brought it up, he reacted as though he simply hadn’t thought about it. He also made a point to write it down, so that he could investigate the possibilities. The battery is a custom-built 16-cell battery (most netbooks come with 6 or 8-cell) and I have no doubts it really will power through the full advertised 12 hours.
Priced at 575EUR (US$820) it’s certainly quite pricey, though Nokia was pretty clear that they don’t believe most consumers will purchase the Booklet 3G alone – it’ll usually come subsidized through a carrier or something like that, which would be good.