Nokia Booklet 3G Review

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It’s small, robust, awesome but it can blow your pockets away!

That’s just a flash-forward of my verdict on Nokia’s latest and first netbook device that was released last October 2009. Don’t you ever click that ‘x’ button just yet. Stay in here. Read this review. Show me (and this gadget) some love.

After 2 weeks of tinkering the Nokia Booklet 3G, I had a fair share of experiencing its celebrated features – style, efficiency and portability. Style – its minimalistic yet robust look and feel; Efficiency- its capability to stay ‘connected’ and alive within 8-12 hours and to perform optimally for simple desktop processes and entertainment application; Portability – the convenience it can provide to its end-user.

(Click Continue Reading to view to complete review and pictures.)

STYLE

Lavishly built in resilient elemental aluminium, the Nokia Booklet 3G is almost reminiscent of Apple’s line of unibody Macbooks. It looks pretty solid and it seems like it can withstand the test of time. It’s piano-finish front panel was elegantly designed; it makes me want to lick it so bad use it as a mirror. The panel is too smudge-magnet, similar to EeePC 1005’s. Still, you can be proud to showcase this device once it’s out of its sleeve.

booklet 3g 1

Its 10.1″, 1280 x 723 display is justified by virtue of its nature as a netbook. I would be surprised if Nokia built it with a 15″ display. The display almost looks like that of Macbook’s (again) though with a wider accent of glassy black, which lays the 1.3 megapixel webcam beneath it. The Nokia Booklet 3G sign was perfectly placed below the webcam. The black accent which covers about 17% of the monitor panel extends down to the keyboard, giving the device a minimalistic yet refined look.

The keyboard, built in a durable plastic frame, is one of the crowing glories of this device. Some keys are too small, but better compared to other netbooks. Since, I have the UK version, the character next to ‘@’ is ‘#’ but a ‘£’. The usual ‘#’ key sits right before the “Return” key. I normally would mistake “#” key as “Return” whenever I type without looking at the keys. Perhaps, because the “Return” key is too small or I just have big fingers. I also noticed that the Windows-key has a different feel when pressed. Over-all, my keyboard experience with this device was convenient with minute manageable issues.

The mousepad is about 2 inches wide and 1 inch height, which I believe is big but great for a netbook. My right thumb, which I primarily use to control the mousepad, didn’t ache after 2 hours using it. That, I guess, gives you lesser chance to have Carpal-Tunnel syndrome.

EFFICIENCY

Sticking with the premise that this device is a netbook, I did not expect that it is for a power-user like me. The Nokia Booklet 3G delivered 95% of my expectations – it is really neither for someone who wishes to play Mass Effect 2 nor render HD movie projects. Armed with Intel® Atom™ Z530, 1.6 GHz, the Nokia Booklet 3G is apparently powerful and decent enough to handle its pre-installed Windows 7 Starter and play your favorite games like Diner Dash and Plants vs Zombies.

The battery sucks….. NOT! I take it back – this device boasts a 16-cell battery pack inside. That’s 8-12 hours of battery life, but with the trade-off in its performance. The Atom processor (Z530) in this device doesn’t suck a lot of battery life, but provides sub-optimal performance. The battery-processor axiom of this netbook can be stated like this: with great battery life, comes low processor performance.

Still, who needs a lot of processor power if you only wish to finish some of your paperworks on the go or reap the “copious fruits” of your Farmville labor while on the road. All you need to do is to fully charge this device and bring it with pride and your jealous-inducing grin.

PORTABILITY

The inclusion of the Bluetooth/Wifi/3G adapters on this netbook paved the Nokia’s way to connect people (Connecting People, anyone?). Most netbooks have bluetooth and Wifi, but not most netbooks contain a sim-tray for your I-can-twitter-on-my-netbook-via-3G needs without buying SmartBro or Globe Tatoo USB 3G dongles.

Nokia also did a good thing in integrating your social networking and pictures upload profiles like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr in its Social Hub. Since this netbook supports text messaging, Social Hub also takes care in notifying you of new SMS messages and helps you edit, forward or reply to received text messages. All of these can be done through this lovely device. Truly awesome.

The HDMI port located on the left side of the netbook is both a blessing and curse. With it, you can hook it on your favorite TV with HDMI and instantly “convert” your 10.1 screen to a larger one in higher definition. You might have problems though if you need to connect your netbook to your older LCD projectors since the latter usually do not have HDMI outputs. This is a very important matter for sales people or professional trainers like me.

There’s nothing to worry about if you wish to sync lots of gadgets via USB on this device. It is because it can accomodate up to 3 USB devices at one time, thanks to its 3 USB2 ports located on its left (2) and right sides. And if 3 usb ports aren’t enough, then you may also sync your gadgets via its integrated Bluetooth adapter. Pairing my Nokia N900 with this device was hassle free. Nokia was so generous is putting all these things in just a device.

But wait…. there’s more. This netbook has accelerometer installed. The inclusion of this sweet high-end feature is basically for the purpose of securing your hard drive’s content in case the laptop “sensed” a fall or sudden trauma by “halting” or “parking” it. User notifications and settings for this feature are available in the Control Panel.

VERDICT

Nokia’s celebrated netbook, Nokia Booklet 3G is indeed packed with lots of awesome features – some of them are pretty high-end. Indeed, the marriage of elegant style, balanced efficiency and portability result to a device that’s so hard to resist. This could be one of the best netbooks for a Filipino like me especially during this era of Social Networking. (Imagine, about 600,000 Philippine based users log into Facebook every day.) Too bad, Nokia hasn’t announced the availability of this device in the Philippines yet.

Brace your purse though if it hits Philippine stores because it may cost around Php 27,000 (pre-tax) here in the Philippines. That’s not an ideal price for a netbook, but please cut this device some slack since it has everything you need and want for a netbook.

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This device was provided by WomWorld Nokia for trial purposes.

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