Nokia Netbook Tips Price Scale

The Booklet 3G has a 10-inch display, 12-hour battery life, Windows 7 OS, and will cost more than double most other mini-laptops.
Nokia Booklet 3G Netbook
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Nokia Booklet 3G Netbook

Nokia on Wednesday announced pricing for its new netbook that places the mini-laptop at the highest end of the premium market.

The Booklet 3G with a 10-inch display and 12 hours of battery life will sell for 575 euros, or about $821 without subsidies or taxes. Nokia didn't announce a release date, but because the Booklet will run Windows 7, the netbook will likely ship after Microsoft releases the operating system Oct. 22.

Nokia enters a crowded market in which prices typically run as low as $300. To compete, Nokia is likely to offer a heavily subsidized Booklet 3G through a wireless carrier. For example, AT&T offers a $50 Acer Aspire One netbook and plans to also offer Dell and Lenovo netbooks. Verizon Wireless offers a discounted Hewlett-Packard Mini. In return for the low pricing, carriers typically require a two-year data service contract.

Nokia, the world's largest mobile-phone maker, has little choice but to enter the netbook market as the line between computers and mobile phones blurs. Computer makers that have entered the smartphone market include Apple and Hewlett-Packard, and Dell is testing a smartphone.

However, it's still unclear if the subsidized netbook model will be highly successful in luring a large number of new mobile data subscribers. Among the issues that could hamper adoption is data limits. Most major carriers cap their mobile broadband users at 5 GB per month.

The Booklet 3G, which Nokia introduced last week, has a chassis made from a single piece of machined aluminum, which is the same design adopted by Apple with its MacBook Pro line. The Nokia system is three-quarters of an inch thick, weighs 2.75 pounds, and comes in three colors: black, white, and blue.

The device runs Windows 7, is powered by a 1.6-GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor, and includes 1 GB of system memory and a 120-GB hard-disk drive. The 10-inch display has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, and the system comes with a 16-cell battery that Nokia says delivers up to 12 hours of battery life.

Other features include built-in support for Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The mini-laptop has a hot swappable SIM card slot, which means it could support carriers such as AT&T in the future.

Nokia is not the first to release an expensive netbook. Sony in January introduced the eight-inch Vaio P Series, which sold for about $900.

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