back to article Nokia's £500 netbook: What were they thinking?

Nokia's netbook is beautifully designed and beautifully finished, and the battery lasts all day. It's "more aspirational*, more thin, and more stylish" than the average netbook, according to its European marketing manager. But at £500 it's also twice as expensive as many other netbooks - and heavier. What were they thinking? …


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  1. The Original Ash

    Now, where have I seen that design before...

    Silver bevel, black surround on screen... Oh yes, 2007.

  2. Shades

    How come...

    Nokia can get away with a 1280 x 720 screen when rumour has it Intel limit the onboard screen resolution of netbooks with an Atom processor to a physical (native) maximum of 1024 x 600?

    I wonder if there are higher resolution 10.1" screens available for the NC10... Now that would be a nice mod, my warranty is up in January! Which leads me to a question someone much brainer than myself may be able to answer: Would having a 1280x720 screen in a NC10 allow it to display 720 content *without* glitches? At the moment I can get 720 content to play with only the occasional dropped frame and I'm wondering if thats because it has to be resized for a 1024x600 screen?

  3. martin burns

    Remind me, what's a Netbook again?

    IMO, any netbook costing over £200 is overpriced, or wrongly described (you really mean: it's a full laptop without enough power or screen area to do anything useful).

    Cheers, the one with the Toshiba NB100 in the inside pocket. Yeah, 'sright, with the 'Ubuntu Certified' sticker.

  4. Grease Monkey

    It was bound to happen

    Whenever a product comes along whose main selling points are that it's basic and cheap somebody totally miss the point and start to sell a deluxe, high spec, expensive version. Worse still there will be plenty of idiots who will buy them.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    No surprise

    I predicted that the lack of price info accompanying the initial press release meant it was going to be too expensive and I've been proven right. Who do Nokia think they're kidding? This is a mobile phone company that can't even produce a worthy iPhone competitor and yet they think they can flog a netbook with an Apple-like price tag? Jokers!

  6. Ryan 26

    no HDMI? are you sure?

    Nokia claim it does have HDMI. So does it or not?

    Give it a high resolution screen, 4GB RAM and a decent SSD instead of its old-skool HDD and it'll run a lot better and might be worth the price. But not otherwise...

  7. Frank Bough

    Just another WinTel

    I mean, really, who cares?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I'll take 2

    "But at £500 it's also twice as expensive as many other netbooks"?

    Can you direct me to the £250 Netbook you refer to that has Windows 7, a 1280 x 720 screen, built in 3G and GPS, a 12 hour battery life and weighs less than the previously highly rated Samsung NC10 ?

    I'll have 2 of them... thanks

  9. Olof P

    @ How come...

    Other manufacturers also have screen with 720p or more. Examples include the Acer Aspire One D250 (Atom N270 and 10.1" screen) and models from both Asus, Acer and Packard Bell with Atom Z520 and 11.6" display.

  10. Stuart Rogers

    Featured software

    The supplied software, as listed on the specifications page, is a bit of a joke:

    MS Office Small Business (60-day trial)

    MS Internet Explorer 8

    Ovi Suite (must be downloaded separately)

    Social Hub (must be downloaded separately)

    F-Secure Internet Security 2010 (30-day trial)

    Of the five featured apps, two are trialware, another two aren't even included in the box let alone installed, and the remaining one is what everyone (EU antitrust cases notwithstanding) would expect to come with a modern OS.

  11. Jon 66
    Thumb Up

    battery worth it

    if the battery really does 'last all day' then this would be the feature worth paying £500 for

    think i'd put a decent operating system on it though...

  12. th009

    Wrong on the X31

    Not quite. The ThinkPad X31 weighs in at 1.65 kg; the current X200s is 1.35 kg -- or 1.65 kg with the all-day nine-cell battery. (Yes, I own one of each.)

  13. Will Shaw


    I lost interest when the Nokia marketing manager used the expression "more thin", rather than the perfectly adequate "thinner".

    Seemingly, they are not above the over-engineering of an otherwise simple sentence.

  14. jodyfanning

    You missed things about

    What about the GPS. Not found in any other netbook.

    The chipset used in this can support 1366x768. So 720 is no problem.

    But anyway, who is going to be paying full retail. It should come with a contract just like a phone does.

    I'm more concerned about the fixed 1GB of RAM, but being Windows 7 it might just get away with it.

  15. eugene

    @Stuart Rogers

    "Of the five featured apps, two are trialware, another two aren't even included in the box let alone installed, and the remaining one is what everyone (EU antitrust cases notwithstanding) would expect to come with a modern OS."

    Can you name me a netbook that comes with a full non-trial version of MS Office SBE and a full internet security suite?

    Heck, can you name me a computer that comes with a full non-trial version of MS Office SBE?

  16. Ryan 26


    Are they doing an Ubuntu version?

    Does it work with Ubuntu if you put it on yourself?

  17. Sampler

    £500 not bad with network sub

    My TouchPro 2 form HTC is £500 on expansys so a similar deal with a netbook wouldn't be out of the question or price range.

    Hell if they offer decent voice support it could simply replace the handset :)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Why Microsoft on a netbook?

    I lost interest when I saw the word 'Windows'. You'd think at least Nokia would try to use Linux or a variant of Symbian, or make some sort of effort to use another OS suitable for a netbook.

  19. Stuart Rogers

    Re: @Stuart Rogers

    >> Can you name me a netbook that comes with a full non-trial version of MS Office SBE and a full internet security suite?

    No. What I'm getting at is that trialware is hardly something worthy of being an advertised feature of the product - they should either include the full thing or not mention it.

  20. Mike Richards

    If only...

    Nokia owned a lightweight operating system designed for portable devices...

  21. Another Anonymous Coward 1

    Another netbook in the "close, but no biscuit" category

    Design and build quality, brilliant.

    Screen res, brilliant.

    Battery life, brilliant.

    3G and SIM slot, great.

    Processor and HD, nothing spectacular, but fine.

    RAM - 1GB, soldered on to motherboard, non-upgradable.

    Ding ding, we have a dealbreaker!

    The problem does of course, lie with Intel's infuriating "1 GB only or no atom for you" policy.. but still, nokia should have compensated by adding an easy upgrade slot.

  22. Niall
    Thumb Down


    I was hoping this would not use the Linux-unfriendly Intel Poulsbo chipset.

  23. Jeremy Chappell


    Looks lovely, but OUCH! £500?! Such a pity too, I might have paid £350 (maybe even a smidgen more - well half a smidgen anyway) I don't want Windows on it (I'm just a bit Unixy) but otherwise it looked spiffy. However, £500 is way too much for something I wanted to throw in a bag when I wasn't sure if I needed a computer or not that trip (surely what a Netbook is, the hedge bet against "do I need to take my laptop?")

    Such a shame, because this looked cool. I bet they'll want a flippin' fortune for the N900 too (another "hedge bet").

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Intel policy

    @Another Anonymous Coward 1

    Intels infuriating policy? You can buy several Atom-based systems with 2Gb of RAM.

    Intel doesnt have such a policy

  25. Andus McCoatover

    Killer killed.

    Jeesus Wept! 1G memory. "Soldered Down"? Advantage? Like Windows Genuine Advantage?

    Trialware sofware? (, anyone?)

    Accelerometer, so you can see how hard the fuc*ker hit the wall when you got totally pissed off with it?

    <Quote>Three different colors at launch: black, ice (white) and azure (blue). </Quote>

    I fuc*king know what white is, and I know it's the colour of snow, not ice - think Finnish companies might have got that one? (Should they have called it Snow Leopard?) and Wikipedia has a stunning piece of must-read information that Azure = Blue. (

    Fuc*k me sideways, I should do marketing at Nokia. Except I'm over 25, don't wear a skirt, won't sha*g the boss (if male), have a dick, and - the biggest Epic Fail of all, I have a brain.

    Plus, I know how NOT to obfuscate press releases in web-pages. See how long it takes to find the writeup in the link given in the article.

    Bankruptcy's too good for them. Twa*t's.

    Nah. Not for me. A tiny, overpriced laptop, not a useful netbook. I'll stick with my eee701 running eeebuntu, thanks.

  26. Another Anonymous Coward 1

    Okay, scratch that.

    It's actually Microsoft policy that restricts the RAM and HD capacity when the other specs meet certain net-booky standards, not Intel.

    The Intel restriction is on screen resolution, and has recently been lifted or modified, hence why this one is allowed to have something a bit better than the usual pathetic 1024x576 on a 12" screen.

    Not entirely sure what the specific specs that trigger Microsoft's "this laptop must be crap" flag are (think they're related to screen size mostly), which may explain a few ones with 2gb onboard. Also, the restriction does not apply to desktops, only netbooks.

    Anyway, my point was.. big mess of hardware restrictions are still the main thing holding netbooks back.

    We'd already have 4gb RAM, Atom 330 + Ion, 500GB HD, 1280x800 netbooks on sale if it wasn't for all the restrictions. There's nothing physically stopping such a device from being made.

  27. Goat Jam


    This could be the first "netbook" to break the AU $1000 price barrier!

    And it has Windoze on it too!


  28. James Hughes 1

    Atom screen restriction

    I'd like to know more about that. Is it that the built in to the Atom LCD driver block can only support 1024x768? (A bit like the PXA270 only supporting up to QVGA before it ran out of internal framebuffer memory [ish]), but there is nothing to stop manufacturers from adding a second LCD chip/coprocessor to provide more graphics oomph. Is that what people do?

  29. Tony Smith (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Atom screen restriction

    The original 1024 x 600 was - allegedly - imposed by Intel (possibly by Microsoft too, to hinder demand for Windows XP). How it was enforced is not known, probably just through the N270/N280 CPU sale Ts&Cs.

    One way around this was to use the Atom Z-series processors, which is why early hi-res netbooks weren't based on the more commonplace N series.

    Nb. N series are for netbooks, Z series Atoms are for internet tablets.

    In the Spring, Intel relented and allowed N-series Atoms to be used in hi-res laptops:

    And suddenly 1366 x 768 netbooks based on the N270/N280 appeared, eg the Sony Vaio W.

    This was done to accommodate Windows 7.

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