I've thought for awhile that the key to selling the super cheap yet very underpowered sub-notebooks that are exploding all over the place would be carrier subsidization, and now a carrier in Japan is taking the the idea and running with it, selling the Eee PC 701 for less than $1 American with a data plan contract, much like how we get cell phones. These devices often feature 4G—in this case with an external wireless modem—networking, which means you get an always-on Internet connection for your tiny laptop for less than $65 a month. American carriers, are you paying attention? [JK On The Run, via Liliputing]
If the idea is that you can get one of these when you can't afford it, and wanted to buy it over time, a small loan would be a better way to go in combination with a data plan & usb wireless modem from one of the US carriers.
The only upside to this is 4g, and Japan has always been years ahead of us in data transfer rates.