AT&T says it expects to begin selling netbooks in its 2,200 US retail locations over the next few days. The company first launched a pilot program allowing customers to pick up a cheap netbook with the purchase of a 2-year service contract in Philadelphia and Atlanta earlier this year. In May the company promised to expand the program nationally.
The three netbooks AT&T will be offering are the Dell Inspiron Mini 10, Acer Aspire One, and Lenovo IdeaPad S10. Each netbook will be available for $199 with the purchase of a 2-year contract. While that knocks about $100 to $200 off the price of a netbook without a 3G modem and service plan, it still means you’re going to end up paying $1159 to $1639 over the term of the contract. That’s because a service plan will set you back $40/month for 200MB of data transfer, or $60/month for 5GB.
If you were planning on paying for wireless service anyway, this might be a good deal. But if not, or if you think you might want a new netbook next year, you might want to either pass or consider signing up for a USB 3G modem plan that can be used with multiple computers.