If you have the pocket change, Best Buy
The leading consumer-electronics chain is offering a Hewlett-Packard
There's a catch, of course. You have to commit to paying SprintNextel
If portable cybersurfing is important to you, paying $1,441 over two years may not sound like a ludicrous trade-off to paying $390 and praying for free Wi-Fi hotspots along the way. However, if you're willing to fork over $60 a month to be perpetually online (well, within the confines of 5 gigs of data usage a month), wouldn't you probably be in the market for something more than a netbook?
Subsidized netbooks aren't new. RadioShack
But Best Buy's deal is unique, in that the retailer is offering customers three wireless carriers to choose from. Unfortunately, going with AT&T or Verizon
You've seen this happen for years in the cell-phone space. When AT&T moves an Apple
Netbooks sold like crazy over the holidays, but they probably went to Wi-Fi-enabled homes where residents were looking for an entry-level portable computing device to take from room to room. Netbooks' cheap prices were as big a factor as their compact designs. So how many people want to pay $60 a month for connectivity on a secondary machine?
More to the point, shouldn't the full-sized laptops -- and especially Apple -- be making the leap to subsidized mobile broadband deals? Netbooks are lightweight and extremely portable, but who even knows whether they'll still be relevant in two years? As a bargain-priced alternative between smartphones and notebooks, netbooks hold a huge appeal today -- but don't go stapling me to a two-year mobile broadband contract. I may have other plans come June of 2011.
What's the deal with netbooks these days?