Nokia Booklet 3G Netbook Will Cost €575

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It’s fierce in the netbook market – and Nokia is heading for the premium end, with a €575 3G booklet with 12 hour battery life and Windows 7

Nokia’s first netbook, the Booklet 3G netbook will be a high-end device costing €575, the Finnish phonemaker said today.

The Intel-based Windows device, first announced last week will cost €575 before any subsidies from mobile operators, according to specifications released at Nokia World 09 in Germany.

The device, due to arrive in late October, will include a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, a SIM card slot for 3G connectivity, a weight of 1.25kg and 12 hours of battery life. It will come alongside Nokia’s N900 tablet, based on its Maemo Linux version, which should reassure anyone who thinks the company has abandoned Linux completely.

“We have gone into this with our eyes wide open,” said Kai Oistamo, Nokia’s executive vice president of devices, introducing the mini laptop – which can also be seen in a Nokia video.

The Twelve hour battery life claim is one of the most exciting details – and Nokia seems serious about this. It’s no small things to tell business professionals, as Nokia does on its Conversations blog: “Charge it and go — no need to worry about taking your charger with you.”

The Booklet 3G is constructed from a single piece of machined aluminum, weighs 2.75 pounds and measures 10.4 by 7.3 by 0.8 inches. Colour options at launch will be black, white and blue.

The glass display measures 10.1 inches and offers a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, and there’s built-in WLAN and WWAN connectivity for connecting to Wi-Fi or cellular networks, as well as an easily accessible SIM card to connect to 3G/HSPA networks. There’s also assisted GPS.

On the inside is a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor and Intel Poulsbo US15W chip set with a fanless design. There’s 1GB of 533Mhz DDR2 (double data rate 2) memory, and a 120GB, 1.8-inch SATA hard drive with an 8MB cache and 4200rpm.

The Booklet 3G runs Microsoft’s Windows 7 Starter Edition, though Home Premium or Professional are also options, and Nokia services, including Ovi Suite 2.0, Nokia Music for PC, Ovi Maps and Nokia’s Social Hub, for keeping track of social software feeds, are all integrated. Over the air, the netbook can also sync calendar, contacts and media details with a mobile device.

There’s a 1.3-megapixel webcam with microphone, and an accelerometer, plus 3 USB slots, an HDMI 1.2 out slot, a 3.5mm headset jack and an SD card reader. Current pricing is 575 Euro (approximately US$817).

“The list of features for the Booklet is fairly impressive and that’s reflected in Nokia’s pricing. The Booklet is a premium netbook targeted at affluent prosumers for a premium price-point,” analyst Neil Mawston, with Strategy Analytics, told eWeek.

“In some ways, the Booklet is adopting an Apple-like strategy; pack a good-looking device with leading-edge features and charge consumers an above-average price,” Mawston added. “The relatively high pricing means the Booklet is not a mass-market offering, but its impressive range of features does give Nokia a favourable first entry into the high-end netbook and mid-range notebook markets.”

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi finds the Booklet 3G not quite unique enough. “Looking at the price, Nokia needs more differentiation to stand out in the crowd. Something like adding Comes With Music would help [to differentiate it],” she told eWEEK.

Nonetheless, Nokia has staged something of a comeback this year — if such a term can be applied to the number one global handset maker. With market share falling, it launched its flagship N97 smartphone (reviewed here), announced a collaboration deal with Intel on mobile devices and the N900.

Various Web sites are announcing that the N900, along with the Booklet 3G, will arrive in select markets in late October, following the release of Microsoft Windows 7 on 22 October – though Nokia has yet to confirm this.

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