Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

AT&T Sells Netbooks for $50, Sort of

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 9 comments


AT&T yesterday announced that the company would be offering netbooks for just fifty bucks in two major areas. Kinda.

The company made the announcement at CTIA in Las Vegas, telling attendees that AT&T was offering a choice of the Acer Aspire One, Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Dell Inspiron Mini 12 or LG Xenia at prices ranging from $49.99 and up to $249.99. It's open to residents in Atlanta and Philadelphia, but the offer isn't available anywhere else as of yet.

Where’s the catch? That’s the subsidized price, which requires you to sign up for a two year broadband contract with the mobile provider. AT&T's Internet at Home and On the Go plan packages start at $59.99 per month (including AT&T DataConnect and Wi-Fi) meaning you’ll make up the price of a regular netbook (about $400) in less than six months. We knew it was too good to be true! The devices by themselves range from $449.99 right up to $599.99.

Obviously, we’re tempted to say there’s absolutely zero point in taking the provider up on this offer but then again, it sort of depends on your internet plan and how much you use the net at home and while traveling. This deal would make a lot of sense to someone who works from home and brings their computer on the road with them when they travel. Similarly, for kids going off to college and in need of both an internet connection and laptop, this could be pretty sensible.

With what you pay for your internet at the moment, does this offer even begin to tempt you or does it make more sense for you financially to stick with the PC and plan you have now?

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
  • 0 Hide
    iron-e , April 2, 2009 2:38 PM
    I'm desperately looking for a way to escape my cable company. Having long ago abandoned my land line in favor of a cell phone, the alternatives for internet and tv service have been limited to the local cable monopoly.

    I believe direct tv no longer requires a land line, so this might actually save me money in addition to the 'free' nettop. Too bad it's not in my area...
  • 0 Hide
    thejerk , April 2, 2009 3:13 PM
    I like the freedom, but data pricing from cell carriers as a whole needs to come down to become viable.
  • 2 Hide
    mpasternak , April 2, 2009 3:48 PM
    can't really say it's a bad deal.

    it's no different than buying a standard cell phone. Those 0 dollar phones really aren't free. you pay the cost of them easily in your monthly plan.

    this looks like a steal though. Up here in Canada our cell providers have yet to adopt meaningfull packages for data. None as of the last time i checked offer unlimited data plans and all still charge per the KB.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    ptroen , April 2, 2009 6:51 PM
    wimax is hitting certain us cities. This is not a good deal when clearwire offers $20/month wimax internet. Comcast is getting in the wimax business as well. So why pay $59.99 for Internet?
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , April 2, 2009 7:41 PM
    I saw an offer from at&t just like this , but the netbook was a $550 acer at 2 year contract for $200. I was thinking of taking the offer for college, but now that this is coming I'll wait. But the monthly plan is still a bit expensive.
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , April 2, 2009 8:23 PM
    These deals are just a scam to us computer people, but imagine for a moment a person who doesn’t own a computer of any kind and they want to get online. All the sudden this is not so bad, $49.99 down and $59.99 a month for 2 years. I guess there might be some idiots out there interested….
  • 0 Hide
    idisarmu , April 3, 2009 2:31 AM
    mpasternakcan't really say it's a bad deal.it's no different than buying a standard cell phone. Those 0 dollar phones really aren't free. you pay the cost of them easily in your monthly plan.this looks like a steal though. Up here in Canada our cell providers have yet to adopt meaningfull packages for data. None as of the last time i checked offer unlimited data plans and all still charge per the KB.


    wtf? I'm pretty sure rogers has $7/month for unlimited data for PAYG phones.
  • 0 Hide
    hm_crespo , April 3, 2009 1:26 PM
    It really isn't a bad deal. If you went at it by buying the computer on your own and then getting into a plan like this is you would spend the $400 and the monthly $60 on top of that. So if you are in the market for a netbook and you travel, then this IS a good deal. Only if you need them both. If you want just a netbook, it makes no sense what so ever.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 3, 2009 3:52 PM
    I agree with mpasternak. This is no different than 95% of the cellphone plans in the USA. People these days think nothing of getting a 3G high-end cellphone for free or less than $100. They simply fork over the monthly fee for the service.

    Selling cheap, or giving away free, netbooks is just the natural extension of that.

    As for who would buy them, I see the majority of customers being of the typical cellphone user. Non-technical people who simply want a full-time internet connection at home and on the road along with a cheap laptop. Since most of us technically inclined people purchase our own Internet connection and computer equipment separately we not only understand the details involved but we also enjoy the freedom of choice available. The standard individual though would probably benefit from this.

    Actually, this is nothing new in the computer industry either. For years AOL, MSN and other Internet ISP companies have tried to sell cheap computers in the stores requiring you to sign up for their 2 year online service.