Tuesday Nokia announced that Best Buy (BBY.N) would sell its first netbook computer for $299 to those who sign up for a $60-a-month mobile service plan with AT&T Inc .
Best Buy, which will be the only U.S. retailer to sell the device for the upcoming holiday season, said that the mini laptop would cost $599 for consumers who do not opt for the AT&T wireless plan and instead connect to the Web using Wi-Fi, a short-range wireless technology, Reuters reports.
It was also reported, the Booklet 3G will be available exclusively in Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) stores throughout the holiday retail season, and users will be able to buy the mini-laptop without a data commitment for $599. The Booklet 3G is powered by the Intel (NSDQ: INTC) Atom processor, has a chassis made from a single piece of aluminum, and will run its operating system is Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Windows 7.
The computer has Wi-Fi, 3G capabilities, GPS, a 120-GB hard-disk drive, and will be able to access programs from Nokia's Ovi catalog. The system comes with a 16-cell battery that Nokia said will deliver up to 12 hours of battery life.
For Nokia, the move comes as smartphones and laptops are becoming increasingly similar in terms of pricing and capabilities. Computer makers are also seeing this trend, and companies such as Apple, Acer, and even Dell (Dell) are jumping into the smartphone market to capitalize on the mobile computing convergence, InformationWeek reports.
Meanwhile, after a few minutes of hands-on experience with the device, we can attest that some of the excitement is justified. The Booklet really feels solid in your hands, the keyboard feels very natural, and the 10.1-inch screen gives decent real estate. If you can somehow get your hands on one without the contract, Nokia reps confirmed the Ovi software on board will support tethering. All things considered, we really like the Booklet, but can't really stomach giving AT&T another $60 a month, DVICE reports.