Nokia on Tuesday rolled out its N97, a high-end smartphone with a 3.5 inch touch display, QWERTY keyboard and social location software to allow people to use Facebook, MySpace and other sites on the go.
As I play with--and ponder--the netbook I have and all the tradeoffs involved I'm increasingly convinced that there's a market between the smartphone and the laptop. But the form factor just isn't there yet. I'm not sure Nokia and its dinky screen is going to do the job, but I do think the smartphone and laptop will increasingly merge into something. In fact, the Nokia N97 highlights the ongoing merger between smartphones and laptops. For the record, Nokia calls its latest device a "mobile computer." A lot of companies--including Intel and AMD--are rethinking the netbook category and 2009 is likely to bring us a push toward 2.0 devices.
Nokia's N97 has some sweet specs (statement, Techmeme)--it supports up to 48 GB of storage, has a 5 megapixel camera, music support and DVD quality video capture. The rub: The N97 isn't what you'd call affordable. It has an estimated retail price of 550 euro before taxes and subsidies. And given that Nokia doesn't ride shotgun with carriers in the U.S. that's a fully loaded $695 to someone like me. If you're in Europe you'll get an N97 subsidized so it'll be more reasonable.
- Nokia updates Nokia Maps and Nokia Messaging clients and services
- Gallery: Nokia N97 - your future netbook?
The N97 may be the coolest gadget on the planet, but there's no way I'm paying that much for it. Overall, the N97 may be the future netbook or laptop/smartphone hybrid, but it sure isn't priced like one.