Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia may seem like an odd entrant into the netbook market. The well-known cellphone manufacturer was once a dominant force in mobile broadband technology and the first name in the smartphone war, though recent competition from Apple Inc. and Google has forced them a little out of the picture.
It’s surprising then, that the well-known cellphone giant has decided to enter the even more fiercely competitive netbook industry. The Booklet 3G, Nokia’s first foray into portable computing, is one of our recent favourites and a surprisingly well-rounded piece of equipment. With a dense screen and refreshingly usable keyboard – two features we’re not used to seeing on netbooks – it could even become the ultimate ultra-portable mobile computer.
The Booklet 3G’s processing power is standard for netbooks in its price range, boasting a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and a slightly disappointing 1GB of high speed memory. System performance is certainly above average, though it could be improved by a custom operating system; the Booklet uses Windows 7 as standard, which robs some of its performance capabilities.
Typing on the Booklet is a dream. The isolated keyboard allows touch typists to keep their input speed constant, while the rubber construction keeps unwanted substances and potential hardware risks out. The keyboard is clearly styled on the Macbook Pro‘s unit; in fact, the whole Booklet feels distinctly like an Apple product.
There is a slight size issue present on the keyboard, and users accustomed to a full-size keyboard will no doubt take a while to adjust. The system’s touchpad is equally compact, though we’ve yet to experience any problems while navigating through the operating system or using applications.
But what separates the Booklet 3G from its competition isn’t the slick keyboard, solid construction, or surprisingly decent performance, but its immense portability and truly unbelievable battery life. On a single charge, the Booklet survived over ten hours of basic computing tasks and internet browsing, a staggering figure considering the system’s microscopic dimensions and modern components.
Nokia claim that the battery will last for over twelve hours, and we’re equally confident with the system’s battery lifespan. Using certain built-in features lowers the battery life, particularly the built-in 3G connectivity, though we’ve yet to see a single unplugged usage session dip below seven hours.
With a large and defined screen, an incredibly versatile and pretty design, and one of the best battery’s in any laptop out there, you’d expect that the Booklet 3G will carry a hefty price tag.
And you’d be right. The Booklet 3G is available for £649.00 – a figure well above that of other netbooks offering similar performance and usability.
But we can’t help but feel that the price is justified. The Booklet is unlike any other netbook we’ve used before; it’s refreshing, usable, and equipped with one of the best batteries out there. At first glance, the thought of a Nokia netbook may seem slightly absurd, but it’s resulted in one of our favourite products in recent years. The Booklet 3G is our ultimate netbook, and at £649 it’s an absolute bargain.