Finnish mobile 'phone giant Nokia is entering the netbook market with a HSDPA-connected Mac-inspired model dubbed the Booklet 3G.
As unveiled over on BetaNews
, the Booklet 3G is a rather natty looking device featuring a 10" screen nestled in an aluminium chassis a mere 2cm thick. The choice of metal over plastic gives the unit a more robust feel - and a look which isn't a million miles away from something that might have come from Apple's designers - at the cost of a slight increase in weight compared to its competitors, tipping the scales at a still-portable 1.25KG.
Coming as it does from a mobile specialist, the connectivity is pretty neat: with an integral 3G dongle, it's quite likely we'll be seeing the Booklet offered at a discount along with a monthly data plan from the major mobile providers. WiFi is, of course, also provided - along with Bluetooth for the all-too-obvious mobile 'phone syncing. Interestingly, the unit offers in-built assisted GPS - something Nokia has been making available in its smartphones for some time, but that is a relative novelty in the netbook marketplace.
Additional details on the unit are scant, but it's thought that it will be shipped running Windows 7 rather than the by-now ageing Windows XP so beloved of traditional netbook manufacturers. The usual extras - SD card reader for additional storage, webcam of questionable quality which gets used once and then ignored - are fitted as standard, along with something rather novel: an HDMI output port. Whether this points to some hardware-based assistance enabling the as-yet unspecified Intel Atom processor to pump out 720p - or, if we may dream, 1080p - video without a hitch is not yet known.
The Booklet 3G is expected to launch on the 2nd of September, at an as-yet secret price point - and, as is increasingly common, in a variety of colours.
Could this be the device that convinces you to move towards a netbook as your next mobile computer, or will it all depend on how much Nokia will be charging? Are netbooks in general still missing something you consider a vital requirement? Share your thoughts over in the forums