While US mobile carriers are just starting to dip their toes in the waters of subsidized laptops, the practice is old hat in the UK. And now UK wireless broadband provider O2 is offering its first “free” laptops bundled with a service contract. If you sign up for a 2 year plan, O2 will give you a Samsung NC10 mini-laptop or one of several full sized notebooks.
If you’re wondering why I put the word “free” in quotes, it’s because O2 charges £29.38 per month for a plan which will let you transfer up to 3GB of data each month. Over the course of a 2 year contract, that means you’ll wind up spending £705, or about $1013 US on that netbook. Not a bad deal if you were planning on paying for broadband service anyway. But if not, you’d probably be better off just picking up the standalone computer.
For £39.15 per month, you can get a 10GB/month data plan.