If your laptop and your cell phone mated, the offspring might look something like the Nokia 9300.

This Symbian OS-based handset is the third in Nokia’s suitably dubbed "Communicator" series, designed for mobile executives on the go. It’s a phone, computer, and high-speed Internet device all rolled into one. But calling the Nokia 9300 a "smartphone" is like saying Bill Gates has a few shekels in his bank account.

Here’s why the Nokia 9300 -- which sells for $299.99 on a two-year contract with Cingular Wireless -- may be right for you and your growing business.

Push e-mail

Unlike most handsets that log on to the Internet to "pull" e-mails down to the handset, the 9300 offers three ways to have your important messages "pushed" to the device as they arrive in your inbox:

            BlackBerry Connect: The Communicator is one of the first handsets in North America to launch with this program that lets corporate customers choose to either use the BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Connect to access ISP e-mail accounts through the BlackBerry Internet Service.

            Cingular’s Xpress Mail: This program is based on the SEVEN e-mail platform, which is compatible with a variety of corporate e-mail applications, including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Novell Group Wise, IMAP4 and POP3, as well as global directories and personal calendars.

            Intellisync Wireless E-mail: This e-mail service "pushes" e-mails, meeting requests, calendar updates, among other information, to a variety of mobile devices. It supports a variety of platforms, including Palm, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Symbian, IMAP clients and other platforms.

With push e-mail, you won’t miss a beat, as you can read and respond to incoming messages without fear of missing an urgent request.

Multi-tasking and Office features

Taller but trimmer than the Palm Treo series, this 5.9-ounce handset (measuring 132mm x 51mm x 21mm) opens up along its spine to access a QWERTY thumb keyboard and widescreen LCD (65,536 colors) that’s perfect for creating or editing documents, presentations, or spreadsheets. It also includes full synchronization support with Microsoft Office and Lotus Notes via the optional Nokia PC suite software.

Calendar, contacts, and tasks can also be easily synched with a desktop or laptop PC. Run into a client at the airport but forgot his name? No worries – excuse yourself for a moment to "take a call" and browse your contacts list to find his thumbnail photo attached to his name.

If you need to chat while tweaking your sales report, the 9300 includes integrated Bluetooth and speakerphone support, which means you can do both at the same time. In fact, the handset automatically switches to speakerphone when it’s flipped open to the keyboard (this can be changed in the Options menu). You can even use the 9300 to host conference calls for up to six participants, and take notes during the chat.

Bluetooth also allows for wireless printing of documents and photos to a nearby and compatible printer.

Oh, and the fun

With support for high-speed EDGE service, the Nokia 9300 is also a fast Web-surfing tool and can handle downloads, including large e-mail attachments. Text-messages (SMS), multimedia messages (MMS), and pull e-mail compliments its host of push e-mail services and support.

When not in an EDGE coverage area, the 9300 is a tri-band GSM phone that works in a host of countries.

The handset also plays MP3s, AACs, and RealAudio. For video, it supports RealVideo, MPEG4 compression, and H.263 formats. If the 80MB of internal storage isn’t enough, a MultiMedia Card (MMC) can expand the memory.

With this lineup of features, it’s almost hard to imagine why anyone ever lugged around a laptop.