Virgin Media is offering a netbook called Freedom to customers that sign up for a wireless broadband service plan. Plans range from £31 to £58 or about $52 to $96. If those plans sound a bit steep, that’s because Virgin Media bundles its 3G packages with other services including landline telephones and TV.
Of course, Virgin isn’t the first company to offer a subsidized netbook to customers that sign up for service contracts. But most telecoms have partnered with netbook makers to offer models from Dell, Acer, Samsung, and others. It seems pretty clear that Virgin Media isn’t actually making the Freedom netbook in house. It’s most likely a (barely) rebranded version of the Zoostorm Freedom netbook. But this is one of the first cases of a telecom stripping all outside branding from a netbook name and offering the laptop under its own brand.
The folks at PC Pro got to spend some time with the Virgin Media Freedom recently, and they were impressed with the screen, touchpad, and overall build quality. The netbook has an 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 120GB hard drive. it has 802.11b/g/n WiFi and comes with a USB 3G module, since there’s no internal broadband modem.