Thursday, April 02, 2009

AT&T Offers New Subsidized Netbooks Deals, Now Only $49.99

att logoAs part of a new two market trial promotion AT&T will begin offering subsidized Netbooks for the low price of $49.99. The promotion, which was announced yesterday at CTIA, will be available at select retail location in the Atlanta and Philadelphia areas.

The offering will include the following:

  • Offer a variety of ultra-portable mini laptops with built-in AT&T 3G wireless capabilities at promotional prices starting at $49.99 with the purchase of AT&T "Internet at Home and On the Go" broadband services.
  • Trial 30-minute in-store technical support — part of the AT&T ConnecTech suite of services — at select locations for customers who purchase qualifying data plans.
  • Feature, as part of the same trial in select stores, an Internet at Home and On the Go package that combines home and mobile broadband starting as low as $59.95 per month, including access to the nation's fastest 3G network and unlimited domestic access to the nation's largest Wi-Fi network with nearly 20,000 AT&T Hot Spots.
  • Pre-install AT&T Communication Manager on mini laptops, enabling customers the ability to manage their mobile and Wi-Fi connections.
Other plans and products will include: the Acer Aspire One, Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and Dell Mini 12, and LG Xenia. Promotional prices range from $49.99 to $249.99 with the purchase of an AT&T Internet at Home and On the Go plan, which includes an AT&T DataConnect plan and AT&T Fast Access DSL, starting at $59.95 per month.

For those of you that might want to make a purchase without the added AT&T services, the prices will range from $449.99 to $599.99. With the purchase of a two-year AT&T DataConnect plan only pricing ranges from $99.99 to $349.99. AT&T is offering two mobile DataConnect plans in the trial, including a 200MB plan for $40 per month and a 5GB plan for $60 per month, making this a less than stellar deal!

Norton 360: Comprehensive, automated protectionAs with AT&T's previous deal, the $99 Acer Aspire One, choosing to go the subsidized route will end up costing you far more than the original netbook alone. Of course for those of you that want to use the AT&T service this might be a reasonable option, however I urge you to read all the fine print first.

For starters you must sign-up for AT&T's Internet at Home & On the Go service (Details on the plan), which starts at $59.95 a month. With this bundle you get AT&T's low end home DSL service at 768Kbps. If the new netbook has built-it 3G mobile broadband, why would anyone want to bother with DSL?

The quick answer is while the package also includes 3G wireless the data limit is just 200MB. 200MBs might be alright to check the occasional email, get directions or write a quick blog post. But its hardly going to be enough for everyday service.

You can upgrade to a two-year DataConnect plan, which ups the monthly data cap to a healthy 5GB. Ah, but doing so doubles the Aspire One's price to $99.99. And lets not forget the TOS for that plan can be costly.

One good note however, is that each plan also includes wireless access at AT&T's thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots so you do have a slight silver lining in that cloud. Overall however for someone looking to jump on a cheap Netbook offer I suggest you take a hard look before you leap!

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