Nokia World 2009 in brief
There’s been plenty of coverage already on this eye-popping event so I’ll limit my analysis to just a few points.
This impressive Maemo-fueled touchscreen phone (aka mobile computer) is the new flagship device and comes laden with highly compelling features. Even though I find the small screen size disappointing I understand the politics behind the design decision. This is after all a phone more than tablet. Rumors combined with my own common sense continue to encourage me that this is indeed part of a product platform and we will ulitimately see some sort of “slate” variant (a la N800)… by early next year at the latest (possibly CES?).
I would buy this multifaceted device save one factor: advertised price. I won’t quote any numbers (there’s already too much confusion over this) BUT if it comes to the US at much over $400 unsubsidized, I’ll wait.
Nokia Booklet netbook
This is the product I personally find more exciting as it represents a new adventure for Nokia. The brand will finally sit on shelf space alongside Dell, Acer, HP and others which should help further Nokia’s recognition as a new player in internet services. This will be solidified by the option of a cell radio modem (for data only) and the future placement of Windows applications on Ovi Store. That’s right, penguin lovers, the netbook will come with Windows 7 installed by default. Reformat and repurpose with the OS of your choice.
This is another gadget that would easily be on my list (my youngest son is in the market for a netbook) were it not for a higher-than-expected retail price of ~$800. Although as usual Nokia has packed this portable PC with useful features like HDMI output and a purported 12 hour battery charge(!), at typically twice the cost of entry netbooks this is a bit prohibitive. A subsidized version from my cellular service provider might help.
Another showstopper for some is the hard-soldered 1 gigabyte of system memory. If this is indeed limited, that means no heavy business usage. Of course, many could argue that this is a consequence of the 120 gigaybte hard drive and 10.1 inch screen anyway. Cramped viewing real estate and storage space notwithstanding, the netbook does come with a version of Microsoft Office except that, curiously, it is a 60 day trial. Buying the full version of course increases the actual product cost.
In appearance this aluminum-bodied product holds its own against the best netbook or notebook designs out there, including Apple’s. Kudos to Nokia’s industrial design team!
X Series phones
The trademarking of new series designators C and X had a lot of tongues wagging prior to the show. There was plenty of wild speculation over just what this advent might mean. Pundits who identified the X designator as a likely series of new music phones were right on target, as Nokia announced the X3 and X6 music-oriented devices. I’m impressed with the appearances and features of both (moreso with the X6). Both will be available at Christmas.
Another product line perfect for my teenage sons. The X3 is even affordable at a listed 115 Euros. I think this line has potential!
I found the atmosphere around and during this event to be more electric than last year’s event. Nokia does seem to be seriously trying to battle the growing skepticism over its high-end prospects. I am just concerned that pricing may interfere; let’s hope there’s a significant difference between proposed retail and actual when these sleek beauties all hit store shelves.
There were other announcements such as formal acknowledgment of the N97 Mini but nothing else I felt compelled to cover here. Visit the official Nokia World 2009 site for more in-depth coverage especially as the event continues.
The event itself has rekindled my faith a bit. Now if Ovi can just get the same degree of much-needed attention, maybe Nokia can stifle the doubters…