This morning Nokia and Best Buy announced that the retailer would be the exclusive distributor of the Nokia Booklet 3G in the US. There’s still no final word on pricing, and since the Booklet 3G comes with an integrated 3G modem, I’m guessing it’s going to sell for far less than the $800 price that’s been floating around. But Nokia has made it clear that in areas where you can purchase the laptop without a 3G service plan, that’s the price.

Today Randall Bennett and CNet’s Erica Ogg and I got together to discuss the prospects for an $800 netbook. It was also an opportunity to test out the webcam on the CTL 2go Classmate E10 netbook, which I used for my end of the conversation. You can check out the video from today’s TechVi video show after the break.

For some reason, the video was rather glitchy during the first half of the show. It’s not clear if the problem was on my end or Randall’s (He was recording the call). But during the second half the video is pretty darn good for a webcam that comes with a laptop designed for children.


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7 replies on “Would you pay $800 for a netbook? (Also, testing the latest Classmate PC webcam)”

  1. Replying only to the subject line, why yes, I would, if the following would be true:
    – Usable keyboard layout, especially re: pgup/pgdn/home/end/ins/del (see 1004DN, Vaio P for inspiration – right Fn really helps)
    – Matte display
    – 1366×768 or higher resolution

    The Vaio P already has this stuff, but configured how I want it, it is about $1400. I’ve also been waiting for the CULV stuff since my current notebook gets about 4 hours of runtime, and that seems about the amount I need, but I could use the CPU to speed up compiles / human idle time.

    Re: the Nokia? Very solid pass and not even a glance from me.

  2. It is obvious the Nokia wants to sell this as part of a plan with one or all of the major carriers. This want not meant to be a stand alone not 3G unit. And why not since that is how they have always worked? Nokia has a typical unit that would be TOTALLY uninteresting to buyers without a subsidy reducing the cost as part of a 3G plan. In Nokia’s mind they’re a device manufacturer for telecom service providers. They sell devices and if netbooks are hot devices for telecoms then Nokia wants some of that action.

    On the other hand I think Nokia is missing the fact that people want good brand name product. The Nokia name in computing is ‘nil’ so they really would do better to sow the market place with a device even people not using 3G might consider too. Sadly, some sr. vice president at some division is likely too ingrained with the way they have always done things so the entire concept of trying to sell this without a plan was rejected.

  3. Pretty much by definition, over $399 is a notebook. There have been small notebooks for a long time. An $800 small notebook is not interesting.

    It’s like asking if we would pay $50,000 for a low-end compact car; the question really doesn’t make sense.

    1. There are systems with Intel graphics that I’d happily pay $800 or more for. This isn’t one of them.

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