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by Sandy Cosser

With the advent of netbooks and the increasing sophistication of smartphones a cross-over of mobile industries seems inevitable, especially as people demand more from technology that they also demand be smaller and more convenient to use.

The second edition iPhone was heralded as the leader in smartphone/computer hybrid innovations. Since then Blackberry has also narrowed the gap between computers and mobiles phones, and regular mobile phone manufacturers, not traditionally considered smartphones, have introduced mobile phones with smartphone-like capabilities. Now, Nokia is taking the phenomenon a step further with a mobile phone that they're marketing as a mobile computer.

The Nokia N97 has a 3.5 inch touch display with unimaginable screen resolution, a QWERTY keyboard, integrated WiFi and Bluetooth and 32GB onboard flash memory with the option to add another 16GB via microSD. But one the coolest elements, and the thing that is probably most significant in its "mobile computer" label is the fact that the screen slides up and rests at an angle to reveal the keyboard; very netbook-like.

And then there is social location, which uses the GPS receiver and compass to ensure that the phone always knows where it is, which it integrates with social networking capabilities that enables it to broadcast your position to specified friends and family. And the home screen, which Matthew Millar from ZDNet says has been completely revamped so that you can manage widgets.

Larry Dignan (also from ZDNet) and Millar both believe that we're heading towards a world where smartphones and laptops collide, and both believe that while the Nokia N97 is a significant step in that direction, we're not quite there yet. Millar sticks out his neck a bit further than Dignan, however, by stating that Nokia will probably lead the way in the hybrid chase, as they have the right vision of the future and the flexibility to make it work.

Until that day comes, however, we'll have to make do with the N97 in all its €550 glory (before tax). Dignan puts the figure at around $650 for American consumers, which makes the N97 way more expensive than your average netbook. But at least you have time to save for it as the multimedia computer or "Desktop.Laptop.Pocket" as Nokia refers to it, will only be available early in 2009.

References: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=11042&tag=nl.e539


About the Author

Sandra wrote this article for the online marketers My New Laptop laptops, notebooks and accessories a leading supplier of laptops, notebooks and accessories at prices to suit any budget.

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