Friday, December 12, 2008

$99 Acer Netbook Confirmed But What Does It Really Cost

Late Thursday RadioShack confirmed earlier rumors that it will be offering a subsidized Acer Aspire One netbook for $99. Radio Shack teamed with AT&T's Mobile Broadband Service to become the first major US retailer to offer such a deal.

"RadioShack is offering this innovative technology solution at a very attractive price through our collaboration with Acer and AT&T," Peter Whitsett, RadioShack's executive vice president of merchandising said in their press release. "Helping people stay connected during these challenging economic times illustrates our continued commitment to meeting their personal technology needs affordably."

The Acer Aspire one netbook is priced at $99.99 for customers who sign up for a qualifying two-year AT&T DataConnect mobile broadband service agreement with plans starting at $60 a month. Once activated, this netbook allows people to easily access the Internet anywhere within AT&T's wireless network. The offer is available in 4,400 RadioShack company-operated stores through Dec. 24. Prices may vary outside the continental U.S. See stores or visit for complete offer details.

The Acer Aspire one being offered seems to be exclusive to Radio Shack for now and the 3G netbook comes equipped with the following features:
  • Weighs 2.44 pounds
  • Ultra-compact size measuring 9.8" x 6.7" x 1.1" (W x D x H)
  • Stylish piano-black finish
  • Built-in 3G capability
  • 802.11b/g wireless (Wi-Fi)
  • 8.9-inch LCD screen
  • Built-in Web cam
  • Intel® Atom™ processor
  • Windows XP® Home
  • 1GB memory
  • 160GB hard drive
  • Built-in memory card readers (dedicated SD and 5-in-1)

While the initial cost of $99 seems like a great deal the major drawback is that over the course of two years with service, this system will cost the user a total of $1,540. So in reality you are paying over $1,500 for a $350 netbook.

Now consider your options, assuming you have a home phone for $14.99/mo you can sign up for AT&T's basic DSL service. The basic service comes with complimentary Wi-Fi access at thousands of AT&T hot spots nationwide, including U.S. company-operated Starbucks locations. Or for $9.95/mo you can sign up for a service like Boingo, which supposedly allows users to use one account at more than 100,000+ hot spots around the world.

With the savings from either option you would have covered the original cost of the netbook plus the cost of an additional netbook for a loved one, friend or even your favorite blog writer (hint hint).


  1. yes, it seems high if you look at it only in this light. but, if you need an aircard for a laptop. you are going to spend 60 a month anyway. then you need a laptop. Spend 500 minimum plus the aircard.

  2. I agree completely, if you are going to use AT&T then yeah currently AT&T pricing would be $60/mo no matter what. I was just showing that there are other viable options that could save you money. Additionally buying your own aircard (you can get a few of them free with contract from AT&T right now) allows you to use more than one device.

    If you plan on using AT&T and you plan on using a single netbook then this would definitely be a worth while deal.


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