Nokia Booklet 3G ReviewS

The Nokia Booklet 3G is one of the nicest netbooks you can buy, with a build that aspires to be a 10-inch MacBook Pro. But it's still just a netbook, and therein lies the problem.

Price

$300 with 2-year AT&T contract, $600 à la carte

Verdict

Nokia has built a great netbook, but they've done nothing to redefine the genre. Their 10-inch Booklet 3G has your typical 1.6GHz Atom, 120GB hard drive and 1GB of RAM. Running Windows 7, that means the performance is just passable. I'd be this close to pounding my head against the wall when a program would begin installing or a video would load.

That's typical.

What's ever so less typical is the sharp, sub-3lb unibody-esque construction (complete with sweet MacBook-like under-hatch battery and a hinge that bends nearly 180-degrees), HDMI output (not that you can really playback HD videos smoothly on an Atom) and, of course, solid integrated 3G and integrated GPS (though Nokia's bundled Ovi software apparently requires a phone or PC to activate, and after 30 minutes of fiddling, I honestly gave up on mapping.)

Nokia Booklet 3G ReviewS

The battery life is impressive, too. In nonstop 3G browsing and app running with the screen at 80% brightness, the machine's svelte 16-cell battery ran for a bit over 6 hours and 30 minutes. That was a strenuous test, and dimming the screen and/or browsing through Wi-Fi should truly be enough to get you through the workday sans-recharge. (For instance, CrunchGear's John Biggs reported a pretty remarkable 10 hours of movie playback.)

But alas, even for a nice netbook, the Booklet's price is a bit too opulent for what you're really getting: an ever-so gussied up version of the same machine you could buy from Acer, Asus, HP, etc, for half the price (before subsidies). Meanwhile, there are plenty of ULV systems in the $700 range with bigger screens, better performance and portable-minded design (of course, they'll mostly require 3G dongles).

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Give me some rhinestones and a bit more power, and we'll talk. Or just hand me back my iPhone.

Nokia Booklet 3G Review

Quality build

Nokia Booklet 3G Review

Long battery life

Nokia Booklet 3G Review

Plastic monitor back makes whole thing feel cheaper

Nokia Booklet 3G Review

It's still a $600 netbook