AT&T is going large with their netbook plans, offering the Dell Mini 10, Acer Aspire One and Lenovo S10 at brick/mortar stores and online. But at a slightly subsidized $200 apiece on a two-year, minimum $40/mo contract, they're comically expensive.
Let's do some math! On this plan, your Atom-based netbook running Windows XP will set you back about $1160 in total, assuming you're somehow able to keep your internet usage below 200MB a month. (Note: Nobody does this.) If you want a slightly more realistic plan—a still-anemic 5GB a month—you'll have to step up to $60 and month, which pushes your cost of ownership to $1640.
Even a modest cellphone plan adds up a to a lot in the long term, but we expect something in return: decent calling plans, effectively unlimited data, and a free, or at least heavily subsidized handset. The only thing you're getting here is an oppressive transfer cap, some Wi-Fi hotspot access and about $100 off street price on a few modestly-specced netbooks. I guess if you're set on AT&T's data service anyway, it's not a terrible deal, but it's sure as hell not a good one. [AT&T]
AT&T to Offer New Suite of Mobile Broadband Netbooks Online and in Stores Nationwide
AT&T ConnecTech Service Also Launches in 2,200 Stores
DALLAS, July 2
AT&T* today announced an expansion of its mobile broadband-enabled netbook lineup. The new devices, which will be available in stores and online in the coming days, features three ultra portable mobile broadband netbooks - an Acer Aspire One, the Dell Inspiron Mini 10, and the Lenovo S10.
AT&T also announced it will begin offering AT&T ConnecTech(R) services specifically tailored for netbook customers through its more than 2,200 stores, providing three options of support for netbooks purchased from AT&T, with prices from $99 for remote online support to $199 for in-home technical support.
Netbooks from AT&T
AT&T will offer the Acer Aspire One throughout stores nationwide. The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 and Lenovo S10 will be available in multiple stores and all devices will be available for purchase soon online at www.att.com and other direct sales channels. The netbooks will cost $199.99 after mail-in rebate via AT&T Promotion Card with a two-year service contract (see below for additional terms).
The netbooks feature 10-inch screens and weigh less than 3 pounds. The promotional netbook pricing requires the purchase of a two-year AT&T DataConnect plan - including a 200MB plan for $40 per month or a 5GB plan for $60 per month. AT&T DataConnect plans offer consumer and small business subscribers access to the nation's fastest 3G mobile broadband network, along with unlimited use of AT&T Wi-Fi service, featuring more than 20,000 hot spots nationwide.
"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."
The slim and light Acer Aspire One weighs 2.53 pounds and is equipped with an Intel Atom processor, Microsoft Windows XP Home, a 160GB hard drive, 1GB of memory, high definition audio support with stereo speakers, a built-in webcam with a video conferencing feature, and multiple ports for connecting to external devices.
The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 weighs 2.86 pounds and features Microsoft Windows XP Home, a 160GB hard drive, 1GB of memory, built in webcam, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator and integrated audio.
The Lenovo S10 supports thin and light computing, measuring less than 1 inch and weighing 2.63 pounds. For an always-connected experience, the netbook features 3G and WiFi and comes with 1GB of memory, 160GB of storage, Microsoft Windows XP Home and a built-in webcam. Extra features like VeriFace facial recognition technology make logging on quick and convenient, and a multitouch touchpad makes navigating web pages easy.
Today's news comes on the heels of AT&T's recent announcement, which highlighted the availability for small businesses of Acer, HP and Panasonic netbooks and laptops, featuring AT&T's embedded wireless technology, through AT&T's relationship with CDW, a provider of technology solutions.