It’s official: Netbooks are being sold the same way as cellphones in the US. Best Buy is teaming up with Sprint to offer a subsidized HP Mini 110 netbook for just under a dollar to customers who sign up for a 2-year service plan from Sprint. You can get the same netbook for $199.99 with a 2-year contract from Verizon or AT&T.
Technically, HP is calling the netbook a Compaq 1040DX, but it’s basically an HP Mini 110 with a 3 cell battery and a different name.
You’ll need to sign up in a Best Buy store to get the deal. The netbook will come with an integrated EVDO modem for connecting to Sprint’s network.
Now here’s the question: is it worth it? Because in order to get this nearly “free” netbook you’ll end up paying about $1440 over the next two years. Or you could just buy the HP Mini 110 for a one-time payment $389.99.
If you’re pretty sure you were going to sign up for a 3G contract anyway, and that you’re not going to want to get a new netbook in the next 24 months, this is one heck of a deal. But considering the first netbooks were introduced less than a year ago with 7 inch displays and Intel Celeron processors, are you certain you’re going to be happy with today’s technology 18 months from now?