That $599 non-subsidized price still sounds silly -- and $299 with a 2-year $60 monthly contract seems almost more extreme -- but there's no denying that the Booklet 3G
is a truly premium netbook. It's light, strong and very elegant, with an aluminum chassis, wonderful keyboard and spacious two-finger-scroll touchpad. Unfortunately, those netbook innards deliver about what you'd expect in the performance arena (almost too slow for web browsing), and NY's AT&T
coverage certainly doesn't serve the laptop well (as demonstrated on video after the break). There's also the small matter of the screen: it has a pretty weak viewing angle, particularly from above, and overall just seems a little dim. Nokia's software approach isn't too revolutionary, since the Social Hub -- which offers threaded text messaging over 3G -- is the only exclusive app on the computer, and the Ovi Maps-branded GPS software is still in the works. Overall, the appeal is probably going to be strongest with dyed-in-the-wool Nokia fans and people with a bit of extra cash to burn, but this is an obviously elegant product that doesn't do any sort of disservice to its phone heritage.
Nokia just clarified to us that the demo units at this event were actually from the UK, and therefore don't have US 3G -- which would certainly explain some of the speed issues.
Nokia Booklet 3G hands-on