Verizon is offering the Gateway LT2016U Netbook at a subsidized price. If it looks familiar to Acer Netbook fans that’s because it is essentially the Acer Aspire One D250. Remember Acer bought Gateway awhile back. Prices vary depending on how you want to play the subsidized game (or not.) If you want the Netbook outright without a contract, it will set you back a pretty steep $500. If you want to give it a go with a one year contract the price comes down to a still steep $320. A two year commitment drops the price to $250, and you if go that route (2 years) you can get a $100 rebate, making your upfront cost after rebate $150.
I’m not sold on this subsidized route here, but I’m sure for some it might make sense. The contract commitment adds a substantial cost of ownership to the purchase. And quite honestly, these prices don’t seem low enough on the front end to even be tempting. Given that the the network providers all seem to love 5GB caps, I think consumers would be better off purchasing a MiFi card and going that route than they would tying an already out of date netbook to a contract for two years. If you’re going to pay the $60 a month for service you might as well do so with an option that lets you use multiple devices. Two years is a long, long time, in netbook and mobile computing years.
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