AT&T Subsidizes Netbooks

AT&T is applying a cell phone-like pricing model to netbooks on a trial basis in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Through this offering, you can pick up a netbook for as little as $49.99. Of course, there’s a catch: You’ll need to sign up for one of AT&T’s Internet at Home and On the Go plans in order to get this special pricing offer. AT&T’s netbook offerings currently include the Acer Aspire One, Dell Inspiron Mini 9 or Mini 12, and LG Xenia.

AT&T’s Internet at Home and On the Go plans include AT&T’s DataConnect and AT&T Fast Access DSL services. Plans start at $59.95 per month. Without the AT&T subsidy, the netbooks generally sell for between $450 and $600.

AT&T didn’t indicate the price for each individual netbook, but the company did say they will range from $49.99 to $249.99. The company will also offer the Lenovo X200 for a subsidized price of $749.99 with the company’s Internet at Home and On the Go plan. Should you prefer AT&T’s DataConnect plan instead, you can pick up the Lenovo X200 for $849.99 with a two-year contract. Users can also opt for only the DataConnect plan with the netbooks, but must pay a higher price for the netbook ($99.99 to $349.99). AT&T is offering two DataConnect plans with this trial. The 200MB plan costs $40 per month, and the 5GB plan runs $60 per month.

Of course, we don’t have to be the first to tell you this offer might not be the steal of the century. After all, the price of the two-year contracts adds up quickly. However, if you’re already thinking of purchasing a data plan for a netbook anyway, you might as well get the hardware for less.