Super-small, low-powered netbook computers are about the only segment of the computing market that seeing any growth at all during the economic downturn—and apparently that business has been robust enough to lure the world’s top phone maker, Nokia, in the netbook game. Today the company expanded out from its portable “Internet Tablet” devices and announced its Booklet 3G, a full-featured Intel Atom-powered netbook computer. But it’s by no means a run-of-the-mill netbook: as befitting a Nokia product, it sports 3G mobile broadband networking and a swappable SIM card; the system also sports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking, assisted GPS, HDMI output, up to 12 hours of battery life…and did we mention it will be running Windows?
“A growing number of people want the computing power of a PC with the full benefits of mobility,” said Nokia’s executive VP for devices Kai Oistamo, in a statement. “Nokia has a long and rich heritage in mobility and with the outstanding battery life, premium design, and all day, always on connectivity, we will create something quite compelling. In doing so we will make the personal computer more social, more helpful, and more personal.”
The Booklet 3G will sport a 10.1-inch high-definition display, and HDMI video output for hooking up to to a larger screen. Under the hood, the machine will offer an Intel Atom processor and will be running Windows—although Nokia has actually said, it appears the Booklet 3G will be running Windows 7 rather than the Windows XP now commonplace in the netbook world. The Booklet 3G offers 3G/HSPA connectivity, along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless networking; the system has assisted GPS for location-aware applications (like an on-board version of Ovi Maps), an SD slot for media and storage, an integrated front-facing webcam, and Nokia says the system can get up to 12 hours of battery life—although things like games will drain power much faster. The Booklet sports hot-swappable SIM cards—so users can quickly move the Booklet from one mobile account to another—and the whole thing is wrapped in a 2cm thick aluminum shell and weighs under 3 pounds.
Nokia hasn’t announced detailed specs, or any pricing or release information, but promises all that will be coming on September 2 at Nokia World 09.