A Nokia hybrid PC? Remember the Booklet

A Nokia hybrid PC? Remember the Booklet

Summary: Nokia's partnership with Microsoft for phones could easily extend into the Windows 8 hybrid market. Nokia has experience (albeit not very successfully) building a laptop.

Image credit: Nokia

We recently daydreamed about a BlackBerry hybrid PC running Windows 8. This was admittedly far-fetched, but there's another phone maker that could easily build a Windows hybrid computer.

Nokia has ridden its partnership with Microsoft to take the lion's share of the Windows Phone market. Unfortunately, a big share of a small market is not enough to keep a large company like Nokia making a sizeable profit.

What the company could do is take advantage of its alliance with Microsoft and build a Windows 8 hybrid computer. That's a laptop with a detachable screen that works as a tablet. 

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Nokia makes good phone hardware so it's not that big a stretch for it to build a hybrid like we want. It even has experience making a Windows laptop. You may remember the Nokia Booklet, a top quality netbook from a few years ago. Nokia was late to the netbook game and the Booklet cost double the price of competitors' netbooks. It was doomed to failure as a result.

That experience making the Booklet, a nice aluminum laptop with top quality components, could be leveraged to build a good hybrid computer. Nokia would have to adjust the Booklet's design to be state-of-the-art, specifically very thin and light.

The detachable screen would need to be a light tablet that could take full advantage of Windows 8. It would need to be as thin as the iPad and have a high-resolution display. 

If Nokia built a quality hybrid that followed our guidelines for such a device, it could take the market by storm. This would diversify the company's offerings and give them a good shot at entering the Windows 8 market. Perhaps it could make a tie-in to its Lumia phone line. It could bring its Windows Phone apps to Windows 8 and have an instant advantage over the competition in hybrids. If it built a hybrid good enough and kept the price competitive, the Nokia product could be a good seller.

Topics: Laptops, Mobility, Windows 8

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  • RT

    The huge advantage of Nokia would be that they can build RT devices and have an easier time explaining that it's different from Windows 8. No struggling with "it's windows but not really", just "it's nokia, and nokia devices are new and can not run legacy applications".

    Given that RT is perfectly fine on 8'' devices that might be a good entry point.
    • Theres no reason for RT anymore. It was a stop gap while intel caught up to

      ARM powerwise. Now that intel beats the crap out of ARM on the power and pref curve theres no reason to ever build another tablet, ultrabook, server, or smartphone without an intel chip inside.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Differentiation

        Intel hasn't caught up to ARM based chips yet, but the difference is shrinking and will shrink more in december.

        The "benefit" of RT is that it is a more locked down system, making it harder to mess it up - remember the last time you had a look at a computer illiterate's PC and noticed a few services and plugins (e.g. ask.com) that probably shouldn't be there? None of that crap can be installed on RT.

        The other "benefit" for Nokia would be that the competition hasn't gained any traction yet, except for the Surface RT.

        Of course both benefits come with obvious and significant drawbacks, but this isn't the time for Nokia to go head on with HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, and ASUS. Better to enter the field where the others are failing, if you can use your advantages (no non-RT machines, experience with ARM and all the relevant components, strong mobile brand) to succeed.
    • Good suggestion

      Since WP8 and RT both run on ARM, Nokia apps would also port fairly easily, giving them a differentiating factor. Of course, adjustments would still need to be made for different aspect ratios.
  • A Nokia hybrid PC?

    I agree 150% that a Laptop/Tablet with a detachable screen, would be an instant hit for the market, because as much as people want to say the Tablet will replace Laptops I don't think that will happen. I do think they will and are hurting the old Desktop, and is doomed to go away.

    I remember being at Nokia when OPK launched the Netbook, which was one of many flops under OPK. I believe it first cost $299 + a 2yr $60 / month AT&T data plan, I remember saying who in their right mind would buy this. Then as sales never materialized they cut the cost to $199. Six months later it was gone from AT&T (Best Buy) shelf's.
  • It's all about the hinge...

    The problem with a lot of hybrids/convertibles is the awkward/ugly hinges. Supposedly, Microsoft is aware of this and has been working with OEMs so they can get this right. Lenovo seems to have the nicest hinge on its Yogas... but the tablet isn't detachable. Hopefully someone can figure this out soon...
  • Nokia: Designed in China, built in India

    Nokia makes third rate crap, which fits well with their OS of Choice.
    Troll Hunter J
    • What a bunch of pure CRAP. Nokias build quality is way higher than apples

      or samsungs or htcs or anyone elses
      Johnny Vegas
    • Build quality

      Search "lumia 920 destruction" on youtube. Enjoy.
  • handcuffed to a corpse

    What Nokia really needs to do is break free from Microsoft, yes a Nokia mini hybrid would get my interest but only if it was running android. The thing about win8 is that's it's not the hardware that's the problem! No matter how good the hardware it won't sell with win8
    richard in norway
    • Death

      Excellent title, but I am reminded, when thinking about death, and given the fact that Microsoft has been laid to rest many times before, of what Mark Twain once wrote, when it was rumored he had died, "The report of my death was an exaggeration."
      Gray Hawk
    • Android is a kludge that saps processor power.

      Nokia didn't have many choices. Symbian was taking too much effort to keep working, using Android is "like kids who pee themselves to keep warm", they can't use iOS. What's left? Microsoft. Microsoft has the resources and the motivation to make it work.

      I have a bunch of Android devices and lots of apps I paid for. Every one of them feels like it was written for a different operating system. It's wild west on Play Store and it feels like no one pays attention to what the programs can do to the device. Microsoft Store has standards.
  • What don't people get?

    A 7 to 10 inch tablet running Win 8.1 (with quality hardware which can deliver good battery life and screen res) will be the takeoff point for Microsoft. It's what they designed the new OS for.

    Which would you prefer? An iPad or Android tablet that is basically a consumption device which can do work with compromises, or a Windows tablet which will be more equal to the consumption task plus have a full desktop OS.

    I really don't know what people are thinking. MS concept was brilliant and is currently unrivaled. Unless Apple can build an iPad with an OS that is iOS with O SX included, or a Macbook with the same.
    • Two words for you: Iconia W3

      It's 8", was released more than 1 month ago, runs Windows 8 on an Atom processor, but has not taken the world by storm.

      Having said that, I think a 8" Nokia RT tablet would make sense, as long as the price is right, and has enough apps. People care about the apps, and if Nokia does not make too much emphasis in the OS but on the experience, and provide a good one, they could succeed. Also, I guess they will have to be subsidized by a career. So, a LTE radio is a must