Booklet 3G: The perfect ultraportable

Earlier in the month I got a chance to play with a Booklet 3G and was just yearning to try one out. After hearing all about the greatness from Kyron of MaemoFanatics, I decided I had to get my hands on one, unfortunately they’re impossible hard to come by in Canada. Lucky for me, one of the awesome guys (Tom) over at WOMWorld/Nokia gave me the hook ups and had DHL bring one over. Can’t thank him enough.

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The box is actually quite large for a device that is touted to be extremely small and portable. The blue is a very nice touch and sets things off nicely. Like most new Nokia devices, there is a raised/embossed picture of the device on the top.

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Some specifications on the back and a listing of box contents. Not much inside. Although the device supports HDMI out, there is no cable included, which is might be a bit weird to think about - but if you use HDMI on devices, you already have a cable that will work.

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There’s not much in the box. You can see the 2 compartments that house the charger cable and charger, and a small case for the pamphlets, cleaning cloth and the headphones. I really like the simple wording there - “Hello, Hei”. Makes me feel warm inside.

Ah yes. The Nokia Booklet 3G. Aluminum chassis, flush 10.1” LCD and a full 6 row chicklet style QWERTY keyboard.

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On first glance, no major sacrifices were taken to fit all the required keys (enter and backspace keys are regular size and the arrow keys are present). In usage, the only issue I had was not being able to hit the enter key straight on. After a day of usage, I was quite easily able to adjust and type at a decent rate on it. I am a big stickler for a good keyboard. The Booklet 3G is a compromise, but it’s one of the better “netbook” keyboards I have used.

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Looking around the Booklet, on the left side there is an HDMI port, 2 USB 2.0 ports and a 3.5mm output jack.

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On the right side we have a barrel-charger port, another USB 2.0 port, a covered slot for the SIM card and SD card, and below that a recessed power button (take note, it’s recessed for a reason - so you don’t accidentally press it up against something and turn on/off the Booklet).

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The Booklet 3G feels VERY nice. So nice. It’s a perfect size and the build quality is absolutely top-notch.

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It’s a good size to be very portable, yet still be comfortable to use for a longer amount of time.

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The Booklet packs a 1.60GHz Intel Atom chip, 1GB of RAM and an Intel GMA500 graphics card. Connectivity includes GPS (GlobeTrotter MO40x with aGPS), WiFi (Atheros AR928X 802.11b/g/draft-n), bluetooth and WWAN access through some Intel blob HSPA chip. I received a Euro model, so I’m only racing along at EDGE speeds, North American versions obviously feature full 850/1900MHz UMTS/W-CDMA access for 3G and would be very snappy.

After some time of thinking, I decided not to install Debian onto it. Coming shipped with Windows 7 Starter is good enough for me. I grabbed my Ovi USB key and installed Windows 7 Ultimate.

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The only real issue I have with the Booklet 3G is the lack of an HDD LED activity indicator - would be nice to know when it’s busy chugging away with the little Atom chip. Would also be nice to have another slot for RAM and access to the MiniPCI adapters - but understandable due to the single-chunk design they took with it.

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The last thing I’d like to mention on this initial and brief overview is the ridiculously-amazingly-awesomely-intensely long battery life I pulled out of the Booklet 3G. I went 10 hours, just hammering on it with full brightness, WiFi at maximum transmission power, bluetooth connected to my N900 while downloading. The screen was on for 10 straight hours before I shut it down and charged up.

I have a very strong feeling I’ll be very reluctant to return this unit. I’ll have to make a trip with EverythingBlaxx up to the good old U S of A to pick one up from Best Buy before they clear out their stock.

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