The Nokia Booklet is Nokia’s first dip into the increasingly popular world of Netbooks, and how have they done?
Well the Booklet looks fantastic, it feels very solid, much like a Mac Book, it certainly feels more quality than my Acer Aspire 150. The keyboard is pretty damned good too, netbooks are usually disliked for tiny keyboards and tiny screens, but not on the Booklet. The Booklet gives you a regular laptop ‘feel’ in the form of a netbook.On the left hand side you have and HDMI output, 2 USB 2.0 ports and a headset port, this differs from a normal netbook which will have a port for headphones and a port for a microphone. A suitable headset is included in the box. On the right hand side you find another USB port and a cover that when opened reveals a SIM card slot and an SD Card slot.
My Booklet came with Windows 7 Home Premium installed as well as the Ovi Suite. Also installed is ‘Nokia Social Hub’ which handles your SMS messages, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr feeds. It’s a simple piece of software but it works well. I was amazed how easy it was to get my 3UK SIM working, literally put it in, and a connection for ‘3’ appeared in the ‘Network and Sharing Centre’. No need to faff with settings, it just worked. Setting it to ‘Connect Automatically’ gave a fantastic ‘on the road’ experience, I tested it on the train and in the car, was very nice to have a connection so easily. No need to plug-in a dongle, or use 3UK’s noddy software, it just works.
As reported elsewhere the Booklet is certainly lacking in ‘grunt’ – its slower than my Acer Aspire 150, they are similarly specced but the Booklet has 512MB less RAM and at times it shows. I switched off the Aero theme in Windows 7 which helped slightly. I do use AutoCAD and Photoshop on my Acer Netbook, it’s not fast, but it works especially for quick changes to drawings. Both work okay on the Booklet, it’s certainly a bit slower than the Acer, but it’s nice to have the extra screen resolution, my Acer has a 1024 x 600 display, the Booklet is 1280 x 720.
The problem is that the Booklet’s performance can’t be improved by a RAM upgrade, as there are two problems – 1. The metal casing will be a NIGHTMARE to get into and 2. There are no spare RAM slots, and the RAM pre-installed is soldered in any way. One area I was happy with the Booklet’s performance was the battery life. It ran for just over 6 hours from a full charge, this was with me using a SIM to get Internet Connectivity, emailing and tweeting, not bad at all considering I get about 2 hours out of my Acer’s standard battery. The speakers mounted on either side are okay, I’ve not used a Netbook with great speakers and these are pretty much on par with other Netbooks.
In conclusion the Booklet is a lovely piece of kit, beautifully styled, and very robust. Sadly it’s scrimping on the RAM don’t make it such a nice experience as it COULD have been. Good first effort Nokia.
Now for your questions :-
Q – How well does the GPS work and navigation with Ovi maps works? How about 3G network-based location?
A – It’s ‘okay’, the location shows inside an Maps desktop widget, and that’s about it.. there didn’t appear to be any clever way you could ‘use’ your location. I would guess we’ll see more integration soon.
Q – I’d like to know if it’s actually worth the additional price over any of the other current lower priced netbooks on the market. Also would really like to know if it runs Ubuntu ok and onboard 3G works etc.
Q – With built-in 3G do you have to use AT&T or is it unlocked to any SIM? also if you are using AT&T SIM are you still using AT&T communication manager to get online or Nokia PC suite????? And the final question is about actual battery life.