Nokia Booklet 3G Review
The netbook market is growing by the day, because more and more people don´t just need internet connection, but they need to be online all the time. This new class of computers are fully functional (even if coming with modestly performing hardware), but still, they are small enough to be carried around daily and anywhere you go. We are not at all surprised to see Nokia jump on the bandwagon and take on the lucrative market niche. If anything, the manufacturer has been developing Internet-oriented devices that cannot be classified as cell phones for quite some time now, like the Internet Tablet line-up, so their move is all but unexpected. As its name suggests, the Nokia Booklet 3G sports a built-in UMTS 3G modem, so you can use the network of any carrier the minute you plug in a SIM card. The slim body of the device features GPS receiver as well and it turns the computer into a fully functional navigation assistant.
Aside from the Booklet 3G, the eco-friendly box (read ugly) contains a charger with short cable, decent headphones with microphone and microUSB (and charger) cable compatible with Nokia cell phones. Our test unit comes with the CP-379 sleeve that unfortunately cannot be used as a stand-alone pouch
The first thing you get to notice about the Nokia Booklet 3G is how strikingly thinner the device is as compared to normal netbooks and at the same time, how solid it looks. The best part of its body is made of aluminum that also passively cools the gadget, because it´s not equipped with even a single fan. The slim profile means you will just have to put up with the lack of standard connectors for cable internet connection, microphone jack and DVI/VGA monitor port. This is, however, not such a problem as it seems, because the netbook comes with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and 3G connectivity (sadly, without GSM module to make it compatible with 2G networks), built-in microphone (and 1.3-megapixel camera), you have the option to plug the multifunctional hands-free into the headphone connector plus there is an HDMI port to connect the device to a TV-set or monitor. Perhaps the major drawback relating to its design is the necessity to clean the glossy front side (comes in black, grey and light blue versions) if you want it to retain its awesome appearance.
You will also need to clean the screen that is almost as shiny. We are fans of matt displays, especially with mobile computers that are often used in less than perfect lighting conditions. Save that, we are pleased with the screen and its native resolution of 1280x720 pixels instead of 1024x600 pixels that is pretty much the ruling standard with netbooks these days. Its measures 10 inches, the size of the letters is large enough even for long reading sessions, can be tilted at almost 180 degrees and its hinge is solid.
The keyboard is slightly smaller than that of a standard netbook, but this is not a problem. The keyboard is not cramped, there is enough space in between buttons, they are large enough and have excellent travel. We would have liked the Enter key better if it was biggerwider, but it won´t give you any troubles once you´ve gotten used to it. What is inexcusable, however, is that the Ctrl key is not the button in the left, lowermost corner as it is on almost any modern keyboard, it´s been replaced with the Fn key. The touchpad controller managed to pleasantly impress us, despite the rather noisy clicks of its buttons. It´s large enough and works quite well, which is really important for a portable computer, since it´s not always possible to use a mouse.