Nokia, with its Booklet 3G, makes a highly anticipated entry in the competitive market of laptops and netbooks. In February 2009, Nokia announced to the world that it was ‘looking into’ the notebook and personal computing space. The idea soon became reality when, in September 2009, the full specifications and details of the Nokia Booklet 3G were unveiled at the Nokia World event. We grabbed a unit for quick hands-on review.
Layout and design
The Nokia Booklet 3G is no ordinary-looking netbook. With a sleek aluminum body and a glossy-black finish, the netbook combines beauty with strength. Tough it is very lightweight at just 1.25 KG, it is highly durable. The 10.1-in screen, with its impressive 1280×720 pixels display, provides for a pleasant experience – whether watching movies or working on spreadsheets.
The keyboard is 92 percent of full-sized keyboard, with 79 keys – and we had no problems adapting to it. The booklet 3G also boosts customized function key combinations, like Fn+F11 for the Nokia key function, and Fn+F10 to toggle connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
As thin as 19.9 millimeters, the petite Booklet 3G packs us a slough of components, including a 1.6 GHZ Intel Atom Z530 processor, and integrated assisted-GPS. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a built-in 3G modem. This compact book also comes with SIM card support, HDMI 1.2 out for HD video, and three USB 2.0 ports among the not-so-impressive features are a 120 gigabytes (GB) hard disk and 1GB of non-upgradeable RAM.
The Nokia Booklet 3G was launched way before Intel and Nokia announced their collaborative MeeGo project – an open-source project that aims to provide Linux-based services for small form-factor devices like netbook and handheld devices.
Therefore, the operating system for the Booklet 3G is window 7 starter Edition. Unfortunately, this has made it sluggish while it runs on just 1GB of RAM. However, it seems as though the Windows 7 capabilities have been utilized full. Also included is a custom Ovi Map widget for easy access to the GPS feature.
Making it all-rounder communication device, the Booklet 3G includes Nokia’s proprietary communication suite, social Hub, which connects to Twitter, Facebook and Flicker. This also acts as SMS gateway by utilizing the SIM card. One thing missing, however, is the actual phone software, but that could b overcome with the use of Skype and other VoIP options through EDGE connectivity.
The GPRS performance on the Booklet 3G proved to be a major disappointment. It connected to satellite and determined the location rather quickly, but beyond that, its quiet useless. The only software that supported the GPS was the Ovi Maps wedge. We tried using the Garmin PC software on the Booklet but it was unable to detect the GPS. Probably, a desktop version of Ovi Maps would have been more useful.
The Booklet 3G boasts an astounding 12-hour battery life powered by a 16-cell 3840 mAh, 56.8WH (watt-hour) battery. However, when tested, the battery lasted for about eight hours with Wi-Fi or EDGE enabled, which is still a major feat. The Nokia Booklet 3G could b useful for professionals who are constantly in the field, without having to worry about frequently charging the battery.
When it comes to accessories, Nokia has definitely paid attention to details. The power adapter is a design marvel on its own. It is possible to pack the adapter to a relatively small size, due to the design of its cord. Along with the adapter, is a much-needed microfiber cleaning cloth, since the Booklet 3G’s glossy body is a fingerprint magnet. Also included is a Nokia headset, and bundled software.
Overall, the Nokia Booklet 3G is a great device for casual office use. It is quite convenient for users who are always on the go and need to be in constant contact via e-mail. With its excellent battery life and a great display screen, it offers a slight advantage over other netbooks. However, at 650 pounds or 80,000 rupees, it does not offer sufficient value for money, though it “appears” to be worth the coast. From its immaculately-designed hard box packaging, to its supply of accessories, the product screams class and finesse.