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July 7, 2009

Best Buy sells netbook for 99 cents*

Posted: 10:20 AM ET

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, Best Buy will sell you a 1.60GHz Atom-powered netbook from Compaq. The catch, and it's a big one, is that you must sign a two-year EV-DO data service agreement with Sprint.

The practice of subsidizing mobile phones with service contracts is quite popular, but this is the first time I have seen a netbook sold in this fashion.

According to Sprint's Web site, 3G mobile data plans start at $59.99/month. So over two years, that $1 netbook would actually set you back nearly $1,440.

Tom's Hardware notes the Compaq 110c-1040DX netbook retails for $389.99 without any additional features, and admits the "$1,440 bill may sound a bit hefty," but contends "consumers looking for new hardware and mobile Internet service may find a great value here."

How do you feel about the hardware-and-wireless-service bundles that dominate the cell phone market coming to portable computers?

Personally, signing a two-year contract for a netbook sounds about as appealing as mayonnaise left in the sun...but maybe that's just my fear of commitment.

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Filed under: computers • consumer tech

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Erictric   July 7th, 2009 10:51 am ET

Most definitely not worth it!

RichP   July 7th, 2009 11:18 am ET

The other question is will a netbook actually last 2 years, of the last dozen I have bought 9 had hitachi hard drive failures in less than 6 months.

Steven Cravis   July 7th, 2009 1:48 pm ET

Not worth it. Plus, watch for all the great netbook and laptop deals in October.

SeanB   July 7th, 2009 2:03 pm ET

This is just the first step though, to "attach" a persons name to a specific computer to eliminate internet anonymity and control the web.

And to make more money, since you are now using "their" notebooks they can now charge you a "per use" fee for your internet browsing.

No matter where you connect, the provider will know exactly who you are and what sites you have gone to, what you have downloaded etc, etc.

Sounds crazy? Microsoft, and other IT companies, have already looked into that.

Every page you visit, 10¢ fee, every download 25¢. Streaming video? $1/hour etc, etc.

Remember, the US Postal Service tried that several times with e-mail as in the 90's when the internet was new to most of you.
The USPS wanted to attach an "e-stamp" to all e-mail and at the end of the month you would get a bill for the amount you owe. I wonder if they'll try this again, since it is much EASIER for them to implement this now than it was in the 90's.

Yes, this sounds very "Big Brother-ish" but that's the thing, it is.

Years ago when I was High school in the late 80's people laughed at the idea of cameras everywhere and now, here they are and nobody thinks twice about them.

It's the same thing, slow change and nobody notices.

It's all about control and making money.

Aren't you tired of big companies taking your money? Nickel and Dimeing you to death for every little thing?

Hell, I remember when the internet was free, actually free. You didn't need an ISP "allowing" you access to the internet. All you needed was a phone line and yo could connect, you just paid for the line not the "access".

Comcast, Jones, AT&T and all the others are just charging you a fee for what was already there.

Justin   July 7th, 2009 4:30 pm ET

Radioshack Sold them lastweek for FREE

Henry   July 7th, 2009 6:10 pm ET

This is not new from Sprint. AT&T has a deal with the Aspire at Radio Shack for the same thing.

You are better off getting a wireless USB with the carrier of your choice than being tethered to a particular netbook

Blake   July 8th, 2009 8:19 am ET

You can get a terrible computer and a terrible internet service all for ONE LOW PRICE!!! Good deal!

Dean   July 8th, 2009 10:57 am ET

We use Verizon ED-VO cellular data cards at work, and they cost $60/mo under Verizon's 2-year contract WITHOUT a computer. I don't think this is actually as bad as many are making it out to be. You're going to pay the $1440 (or $1600) anyway, so this deal basically boils down to you either getting discounted service and a full-priced netbook, or regular-priced service and a free netbook.

Personally, I am happy with AT&T and an HTC phone which, by the way, I can tether to a PC ($30/mo data), but AT&T really wants another $30/mo for the tethering, making their portable plan $60/mo, too.

JD   July 8th, 2009 11:52 am ET

Has anyone else heard about Cricket Broadband? Unlimeted internet access and low monthly fee, plus no long term contract. The only down side is the coverage area is limited.

BEST BUY CORPORATE   July 10th, 2009 10:51 am ET

Everyone here is being RIDICULOUS!

Its like saying watch out for scams while buying a car!
This car is going to cost you $100,000 because you have to pay for gas and oil changes!

bob   July 10th, 2009 4:37 pm ET

it is not unlimited data, it is 5gb download per month. And Radioshack has been selling them for free for about a month now.

John Hudson   July 11th, 2009 2:28 pm ET

The "costs as much as a cup of coffee a day" is one of the stupidest, most intellectually dishonest arguments anyone can make. The kind of sleaze sales people use. It's not the cost of one item, it's how they all add up and ignorance of this is WHY Americans are all in such debt.

henry   July 12th, 2009 6:56 am ET

ken and seanb are on the right track. People need to back away from the grid. These companies are ripping off the public by pumping the idea that we need 24 hour,instant internet access 7 days a week, 365 days a year into our brains. you don't folks. unplug that ethernet cable from your butts and realize that if you work 8-10 hours a day you either have no need for internet access at this time or your job provides you internet access. You don't need to pay 60 dollars a month to check the sports scores or view porn on your lunch break. Most of us have internet service at home on some type of laptop or desktop setup so that's another 8-10 hours(counting sleep time) that this service would be useless. That leaves 4-8 hours to crap,shower, eat, workout, mingle with other people, play with our kids, drive, feed the dog, deal with the husband/wife- boyfriend/girlfriend, and hopefully squeeze in some time for sex.. Its bad enough that we barely have time for a decent lunch as it is. Now they want us to scurry like lemmings from our cubicles to the nearest park bench and log back in to the internet. If you have one of those jobs where you are always traveling it could come in handy plus you're probably making a pretty penny and $1440 isn't much for you but for the regular person with a regular job being tied to the internet 24/7 is just plain unnecessary.

jp chance   July 14th, 2009 10:40 am ET

If you look into the cost of Sprints data plan, there is a cap on the amount of data you can use each month. If you were to exceed that cap, this deal would cost you a whole lot more than advertised.

vine   July 15th, 2009 1:59 pm ET

Best Buy will also sell your mother for a profit.

aurynjaye   July 15th, 2009 3:14 pm ET

oh please. Our three-phone verizon family plan has averaged us $200.00/month over the past two years. That's nearly $5,000.00–AND, still paid $200.00 up front for each phone on top of that. hell, nothin's free anymore lol!

Jet   July 21st, 2009 12:16 pm ET

This is the new cell phone scam – get a free phone and pay thousands of dollars to the provider. They want you to stream video and download movies too so they can charge you more than the minimum monthly fee too when you exceed your alloted usage. Businesses are in it FOR THE MONEY people! If you think this is a good deal that's your business – but at least make your decision with your eyes open.

Anonymous   August 7th, 2009 12:59 am ET

Netbook is useless. You want WiFi get an iPod touch or a laptop. Paying $300+ for a 1 ghz processor with 1 gig of RAM (which wouldn't be able to handle multiple tabs in browser) is not a deal in my books. At least the iTouch doesn't lag when it loads it OS.

p.s. All netbooks and Macs use disguised linux as an operating system. Linux is freeware developed from donations

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