Now that I’ve spent some real time with the Nokia Booklet 3G, I wanted to put together a list of things that I really love about this little productivity tool. This list is in no way meant to be comprehensive, but it does stem from my experiences with the Booklet 3G versus the Fujitsu P1610, Dell Mini 9, and Asus 1000HE, the latter of which I still have and love.
1. Single 3.5mm Audio Port – the Booklet 3G reflects Nokia’s experience with phones, as the single 3.5mm audio port handles both microphone and speaker functions. This is simply awesome, as I can use the same headsets that come with my cell phones for VOIP calls, such as Skype. Contrasted to every other laptop I’ve ever used, where I would need separate earphones and microphone, and I’m sold 100%. It’s just plain convenient, and something I’d like to see in every laptop going forward.
2. Keyboard – the keyboard on a netbook is possibly the most important aspect, and one that few people pay attention to until after they’ve bought the thing. My Fujitsu P1610 had a small keyboard, though I was completely able to touch-type on it. The Dell Mini 9 suffered with a teensy keyboard, specifically the ‘extra’ keys flanking the letters, which is a major reason that I got rid of it. My Asus 1000HE has a fantastic keyboard, which I’m completely able to touch-type on for extended periods of time, an important factor for a blogger. The Nokia Booklet 3G has a similar chiclet-style keyboard, and it’s definitely comfortable enough to touch type for extended periods of time. Most of the ‘extra’ keys, such as ctrl, fn, and others are correctly sized and positioned, as well, which makes it even better. Anyone who complains about the keyboard on the Booklet 3G hasn’t used a netbook before.
3. Casing – the casing on the Booklet 3G is simply phenomenal. The whole computer measures 264mm x 185mm x 19.9mm (10.3in x 7.3in x .8in), which is just insanely awesome for portability. There is a rubber gasket around the display, too, which prevents the keys from touching the display while the computer is closed, a nice touch, indeed.
4. Connectivity – this review unit came with an AT&T SIM card already installed, so I’m fully able to use the Booklet 3G’s sleek connectivity options. The computer automatically switches between 3G and WiFi, which is handy, and alerts you when you’re using the 3G, so as to help you control usage (since all 4 major carriers in the U.S. have a 5GB limit on their laptop connection plans). AT&T’s Connection Manager utility is pre-installed and launches on boot, and I usually had a 3G signal in less than 30 seconds, which is more than acceptable to me.
5. Battery Life – Nokia advertises 12 hours of battery life for the Booklet, and honestly, I haven’t gotten there. With full brightness and Bluetooth/Wifi/3G running, I’ve been getting closer to 8-9 hours of real usage. This is a similar experience to my Asus 1000HE, which promised 9.5 hours, while I get closer to 5-6 hours in real use. That might seem lame, but it still makes the Booklet 3G an all-day computing device, and of course turning the brightness down and managing my connectivity more stringently would likely net that 12 hour battery life, if really necessary. I can turn the brightness down as low as it goes and still read the screen, too, so that’s a possibility.
These are just a few of the things that I really like about the Nokia Booklet 3G, but unfortunately, it’s not all peachy-keen. Tomorrow I’ll list out things that I really hate about this thing, and you probably won’t be surprised, either.