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We’re one step closer to “free” netbooks today. AT&T has announced plans to offer mini-laptops for as little as $49.99 to customers who sign up for the new 3G wireless plans.

At launch, the netbooks will be available at AT&T stores in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Customer in Atlanta will be able to sign up either for a 3G data plan starting at $60, or for a “Internet at Home and On the Go” plan that bundles a 200MB/month 3G plan with home DSL service for $60. A similar pormotion will be available from 8 AT&T stores in the Philadelphia region.

AT&T will be selling laptops with built-in 3G modems including the Acer Aspire One, Dell Insprion Mini 9 and Mini 12, and the LG Xenia (which may be another name for the LG X120). Prices will range from $49.99 to $249.99 with a wireless service plan, or from $449.99 to $599.99 without a service contract.

Of course, these netbooks aren’t really that cheap when you tally up the cost over the course of a 2 year contract. A $60/month plan will cost you $1440 over 24 months. But if you were planning on paying for the service anyway, you may soon be able to pick up a dirt cheap netbook while you’re at it.

via GigaOm

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7 replies on “AT&T to offer $50 netbooks deals in Philly, Atlanta”

  1. Here is an article that I read at engadget. I think its just like everyone figured.

    AT&T kicks off $50 netbook-with-a-catch trial
    by Donald Melanson, posted Apr 1st 2009 at 4:13PM

    We’d already had some indication that Dell’s Mini 9 and Mini 12 netbooks were headed to AT&T stores, and it now looks like those and a few more are now finally available from the carrier — in Atlanta and Philadelphia, at least. From the looks of it, Atlanta is the real test bed for the trial, with customers there now able to snag netbooks with built-in 3G at prices “starting at $49.99,” assuming they also sign up for AT&T’s “Internet at Home and On the Go” broadband bundle, of course, which itself starts at $60 a month for a 200 MB per month mobile data plan and basic DSL service. AT&T only goes so far as to say that it’s offering “similar mini laptop promotional rates” at eight AT&T stores in the Philadelphia area. In addition to the Dell netbooks, you can also choose from an Acer Aspire One or the little known LG Xenia (apparently an MSI Wind rebadge), or even a full-fledged Lenovo X200 ultraportable, although the latter will set you back between $750 and $850 depending on your choice of plan.

  2. Does anyone see the evil nature of such deals. If AT&T/Cingular, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc can give away free equipment they must be making frightening amounts of money off of 3G contracts. In other words, 3G is a cash cow that consumers should be avoiding.

    [This delusional paranoia brought to you by Monkey King, fighting ‘the man’ since 1969.] 😉

  3. Why? I think everyone should pass on this because with the purchase of a service plan your $49 netbook will end up costing you over $600 dollars annually. No thanks AT&T.

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