AT&T will begin selling a range of netbooks at its 2,200 retail stores in the coming days. The netbooks are subsidized for those who sign up for a two-year DataConnect 3G plan. The company will also begin offering tech support plans ranging from $99 to $199.
The company previously test marketed netbooks and the ThinkPad X200 in select stores. The Dell Inspiron Mini 10, Lenovo IdeaPad S10 and Acer Aspire One made the cut. They dumped the ThinkPad X200 from the roster before rolling out nationwide.
All three of the netbooks will cost $199.99 after a mail-in rebate. There will be an early-termination fee for those who decide they don’t want to stick with the 3G service plans.
The $199.99 price point isn’t all that attractive considering you can buy these netbooks for just about that price from online discounters and the manufacturers themselves. I also don’t understand why AT&T will be selling the IdeaPad S10 rather than the fresher IdeaPad S10-2.
AT&T offers two DataConnect plans with these netbooks. For $40 per month you get 200MB of bandwith. This plan should be avoided at all costs. The overage charges can really stack up, even with occasional use. Today’s web sites, applications and services can easily eat through 200MB before you know it.
You can get 5GB of data for $60 per month, which is a lot more palatable, but this is still not enough bandwidth for most users to use as their only internet connection. The 5GB cap is in line with other US carriers.
AT&T will sell the netbooks with the following specs:
Acer Aspire One: weighs 2.53 pounds and is equipped with an Intel Atom processor, Microsoft Windows XP Home, a 160GB hard drive, 1GB of memory, high definition audio support with stereo speakers, a built-in webcam with a video conferencing feature, and multiple ports for connecting to external devices.
Dell Inspiron Mini 10: weighs 2.86 pounds and features Microsoft Windows XP Home, a 160GB hard drive, 1GB of memory, built in webcam, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator and integrated audio.
The Lenovo S10: Measuring less than 1 inch and weighing 2.63 pounds. For an always-connected experience, the netbook features 3G and WiFi and comes with 1GB of memory, 160GB of storage, Microsoft Windows XP Home and a built-in webcam.