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AT&T Offering 10-inch Netbooks for $200

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

Getting netbooks on contract. A new trend?

Just as how cellphone handsets are subsidized by mobile carriers with a contract, so too are netbooks.

AT&T today announced that it will offer the Acer Aspire One, Dell Inspiron Mini 10 and Lenovo S10 for $199.99 after mail-in rebate via AT&T Promotion Card with a two-year service contract.

"Lightweight and connected, netbooks continue to interest consumers and small business customers," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "We expect that, paired with AT&T home broadband, Wi-Fi, and the nation's fastest 3G mobile broadband network, they'll have great appeal to busy, on-the-go consumers and working professionals. We're offering the latest and greatest connected devices."

It's somewhat unfortunate that the subsidies for the netbooks aren't more significant given the rather modest data plan offered by AT&T: 200 MB plan for $40 per month or a 5 GB plan for $60 per month. The only saving grace is that the contracts come with unlimited use of AT&T Wi-Fi service, featuring more than 20,000 hot spots nationwide, but we'd like to see a more generous data cap – otherwise, why not just tether with your phone?

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  • 10 Hide
    cadder , July 21, 2009 12:45 AM
    Very generous of them to give you a $150 discount off of your netbook in exchange for $1440 of monthly fees.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    apmyhr , July 20, 2009 11:10 PM
    Smart move by AT&T. Scares the heck out of me though to think of the phone companies driving into the computer market. Imagine having to buy 2 year contracts with your future laptops or desktops :( 
  • 1 Hide
    squatchman , July 20, 2009 11:40 PM
    200 MB for $40 a month is ridiculous even for AT&T. Their unlimited data plan for phones are that much.
  • 5 Hide
    IzzyCraft , July 21, 2009 12:45 AM
    "200 MB plan for $40 per month or a 5 GB plan for $60 per month"

    Way to make only one option. Seriously 200mb? What is this 28.8k? Make sure your browser doesn't display pictures so called web 2.0 can kill your 200mb in 1 hour.
  • 10 Hide
    cadder , July 21, 2009 12:45 AM
    Very generous of them to give you a $150 discount off of your netbook in exchange for $1440 of monthly fees.
  • 1 Hide
    anhxeom , July 21, 2009 1:09 AM
    Didn't someone offered a netbook with a 2 years contract for $0.99 last month? I beleived it was Best Buy and Sprint or something...
  • 0 Hide
    tayb , July 21, 2009 2:52 AM
    Alright! For only $40 a month I can surf the web for a couple of hours before I reach my bandwidth limit. What a steal. Well worth the $100 off for the laptop.
  • 2 Hide
    anamaniac , July 21, 2009 6:05 AM
    Fuck this...
  • 0 Hide
    hemelskonijn , July 21, 2009 7:20 AM
    Here in the Netherlands your handset is nearly always free with a 2 year plan and for some time now if you buy a mobile internet plan from KPN Vodafone or TMobile you can chose a 3G enabled laptop/netbook in stead of a handset and in some cases even both (with a dual sim option).
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 21, 2009 7:20 AM
    I bet AT&SHIT are drooling over this. This know that there are many, well.... shit load of dumb ass people who will get suckered into this. Just look how they did with the Iphone. 200mb for $40/mo is plane and simple a rip off. How can they justify price??!! Are AT&T wireless networks so bad that they would rather give a pricey plan that's worth peanuts, in terms of service, so that later they can complain that their lines are congested due to excessive bandwidth that they can justify their prices. AT$T and the other damned companies alike all have the recourse's and money to upgrade their systems but they do that at a snails pace. They know it is more profitable to charge people more money for a shity services than upgrading their system which in theory would resolve the heavy bandwidth problem, but if that happene they would no longer have a reason to overcharge....oh darn. I fucking hate this so damn much. If only the common people were smarter they would stop giving into this scam. I feel really sorry for the people who aren't tech savvy like the rest us, well some of us, that will get suckered into this.

  • 0 Hide
    hemelskonijn , July 21, 2009 7:22 AM
    And on the fastest network in the world bit ... good luck with that i got a 3/0.5 meg connection for 15 euro a month flat fee no limitations which beats being fast any day in my humble opinion.
  • 0 Hide
    jkeelsnc , July 21, 2009 9:08 AM
    Blah, unimpressive measures on the part of AT&T. If they offered a $200 netbook with 100gb cap per month and 3-5mpbs internet service then maybe I'd think about it. Otherwise, it is not very compelling. There are better deals elsewhere. NEXT!
  • 0 Hide
    joebob2000 , July 21, 2009 12:50 PM
    200 MB plan for $40 per month
  • 0 Hide
    downer88 , July 21, 2009 2:54 PM
    Nice, last time I tried to use Sprint for dial-up and not their DSL, they stopped offering phone service! And they were the only carrier in my area!
  • 0 Hide
    dougs55 , July 21, 2009 4:50 PM
    How much do you get charged for going over your limit ? ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , July 21, 2009 10:53 PM
    Over limit fees for Sprint and Verizon Wireless are 0.05USB/MB - so I figure AT&T should be competitive.

    Great use for netbooks. Mobile road warriors who are given a corporate netbook that is locked down and for email/connecting to a corporate database will find 5GB decent. Sure, you can't watch netflix every night (went on a 1 week vacation and burned through 3GB watching 3-4 hours a night for 5 days).

    However, just try to make me get rid of my mobile broadband. Anywhere I want to go that has cell phone coverage, and I get internet. Great when traveling to look at lowestgasprices.com, weather.com, and so much more. Full browser is easier to use than Opera mobile or Skyfire. Netbooks may have wimpy processors, but they are much better than what you get in a smartphone.

    Finally, don't forget AT&T customers get free access to wifi hotspots. So, you really only need the mobile broadband in a pinch.

    However, I'll skip this. I have my cradlepoint PHS300, and since 2.3 it works with my omnia. Nothing like being in the car and letting a bunch of friends look up on the internet things to do while traveling (or check their email, or whatever). I don't mind paying a premium for the convenience - after all, I don't make my own butter and eat out sometimes at restaurants because it is convenient! :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , July 21, 2009 10:56 PM
    Ouch, that's bad. In the UK you can get a Dell Inspiron Mini & 1GB per month with a 24 month contract for £20 ($33). Or £25 ($41) per month for 3GB. AT&T are charging an insane amount. How much do they charge for regular broadband without a laptop?

    Here you can get 15gb for £15 ($25) per month with a 24 month or 1gb for £10 per month on a pay-as-you-go deal, which is what I've got. If I'm ever somewhere where I'd buy wifi access, I instead buy £10 worth of mobile broadband credit giving me mobile broadband for the month.