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.