Sprint Offers $0.99 Netbook With 2-Yr. Data Plan

You knew it would happen at some point, didn't you? With mobile operators offering subsidized netbooks in order to advance adoption of mobile broadband services, Sprint has become the first of the US-based carriers to reach all the way down to free. Or almost free, if we're being precise.

While AT&T and Verizon Wireless currently offer the HP-Compaq Mini 110c for $199 with a 2-year data plan, Sprint has teamed up with Best Buy in order to sell the machine for just $0.99 with a 2-year agreement on the company's "Now Network." If one were to buy this machine straight-out, you'd pay $389.99, but before you whip out the credit card for that sub-$1 charge, take a look at the full costs.

The 2-year agreement means that you'll be paying $60 per month to Sprint for mobile data on the netbook, and you'll be capped at 5GB per month. Also, the 3G card is built-in to the netbook, meaning that you can't transfer service to any other machine. All told, you'll spend over $1440 for the netbook + data, and while it's certainly a good way to get this combination, we'd prefer buying a free-after-rebate 3G data card that can be used on any machine. Not to mention that netbooks should get a lot more powerful as soon as Windows 7 and Chrome OS come out.