Microsoft and its PC-making partners really want “Always Connected PCs” to be a thing. That’s the label Microsoft applies to Windows 10 computers with built-in support for 4G LTE and the ability to receive data even when the system is sleeping.
In other words, they’re PCs with smartphone-like features including the ability to receive email messages, news alerts, and other updates even when the screen is off.
There’s just one problem: always-connected capabilities have an always-accruing impact on your wallet, because you’ll need to pay a monthly fee to your wireless carrier to use them. That’s usually on top of whatever you’re already paying for your smartphone data plan.
Now Sprint is making things a bit easier by offering unlimited 4G LTE data for free to customers who buy an Always Connected PC with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor… or free until the end of the year, anyway.
On the one hand, I’m kind of excited at the idea of free data as a way to encourage adoption of always-connected PCs. On the other hand, Sprint is only really offering 6 months worth of data, which means you’re only really going to save $60 – $90 unless the carrier extends the promotion.
After December 31st, 2018 the price goes up to $15 per month for data or $10 per month if you sign up for automatic payments.
The deal is also only good for the first three Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs: the HP Envy x2, Asus NovaGo and Lenovo Miix 630.
Unfortunately, the deal does not apply to Intel-powered computers with cellular connectivity, which is disappointing because initial reviews suggest that while Snapdragon-powered PCs get long battery life, they’re much more sluggish than Intel-powered machines and there are some applications and features that simply aren’t available.