AT&T today announced the availability of 3G mobile broadband in Alexandria and Pineville, cities in central Louisiana. The move is part of a program to get AT&T’s 3G to more places, and is clear evidence that AT&T is starting to get ticked off about these ads:
Untouched by the cattiness of mobile broadband competition, Louisiana senator Joe McPherson was pleased by AT&T’s venture into his stomping grounds:
“Having access to the latest technology is important in today’s economy and I’m thrilled to see AT&T is bringing its 3G network to Alexandria and Pineville. I applaud their commitment to consumers in our area and their continued investment in Louisiana.”
AT&T Louisiana president William A. Oliver further explained what this will mean for AT&T customers.
“Demand for wireless bandwidth is growing, whether it’s for sharing video and photos with friends, watching a movie, checking the latest scores, or listening to music on a phone, netbook or other mobile devices on the go. With this expansion, our customers can continue to ride the leading edge of mobile broadband with emerging devices and thousands of mobile applications.”
The machine runs Windows XP Home in a 1.6 GHz Atom CPU with 1 GB of RAM. It has a 160 GB HDD and a 1024 x 576 pixel screen.
The HP Mini 311, as reported earlier, will go for $250 after a $100 mail-in rebate. The HP Mini 110 netbook will be sold for $200 after the rebate and comes with a 250 MB, $40 monthly plan (with additional megabyte use costing $0.10 each) and a $60 plan offering 5 GB of data use with a $0.05 fee per additional megabyte.
But before you go gung-ho for the Verizon netbook plan, make sure you know what it could cost you.
His claim? That even at $150, the Gateway netbook is overpriced. I quote:
“The LT2016u is a ho-hum netbook. Its specs — a 10.1-inch SD 1024 x 600 display, Intel Atom N270 processor (1.60 GHz), 1 GB RAM, and a 160 GB hard disk — are virtually identical to those of the Acer Aspire One D250, which sells for about $300 at Amazon. The Gateway system does include built-in 3G broadband; but customers are locked into Verizon’s usurious monthly fees. “
Verizon’s monthly fees are $40 for a 250 MB monthly allowance (read: this sucks) and 10 cents per MB of overage, or $60 monthly for a 5 GB allowance and a 5 cent overage fee. With the $60 plan, you’ll be down $1590 after two years.
I think enough has been said about that, so do yourselves a favor and opt out.
- $499 with no contract
- $319 with a $60/month one-year wireless broadband contract
- $150 after a $100 rebate with a $60/month two-year wireless broadband contract
If you’re into the wireless broadband thing that’s a competitive deal. The 10.1-inch Gateway LT2016U netbook has a 1024 x 600 pixel screen, the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 chip, a Gig of RAM, 160 GB HDD, and Windows XP.
Retail versions sold elsewhere cost around $300 but don’t include the 3G chip.
The manufacturer will be offering Japanese customers netbooks with prepaid mobile data usage, accessed via SIM card. The airtime and data will be purchased from DoCoMo and resold by HP as mobile virtual netbook operator. Consumers can expect to get 100 free minutes of service with netbooks that cost between $50 and $100, with further fees to compensate for usage past those minutes.
The SIM card will allow users to use their minutes on devices from laptops to tablet netbooks. The netbooks sold by HP will all have Wi-Fi as well.
All in all, this is a nice change of pace for the netbook market. If the plan is successful in Japan, it’s likely US consumers will get to see the plan as well.
In light of increasing competition in the mobile broadband space, AT&T has increased the number of netbooks it offers consumers.
However, a new rumor beyond what we reported yesterday has surfaced. AT&T may also include the Dell Mini 9, Dell Mini 12, and LG Xenia in its lineup. All three were tested by AT&T in locations around Atlanta, so it’s entirely possible that the netbooks could see wide release as well.
At long last, ASK NBB #7 is available for your reading pleasure. Today I’m discussing the virtues of wireless internet with the mother of a college student, and perhaps you can learn something too.
Interested in getting your own question answered on ASK NBB? Here’s how! Be sure to check out ASK NBB #3 for my projections for the future of the netbook industry, or ASK NBB #4 for some discussion of the evolving Eee PC.
Datawind has announced the new 7 inch UbiSurfer netbook. It’s tiny, but it costs a mere £159.99 (~$260) and comes with a year’s worth of mobile broadband.
The netbook has Wi-Fi in addition to its cellular network abilities. The internet access is provided via the Vodaphone network for up to 30 hrs/month. A bundled SIM and built-in cellular modem power the mobile internet.
It’s based on an ARM CPU, and runs a vaguely alluded to version of Linux. The UbiSurfer netbook is truly bare bones, with a mere 128 MB of memory and 1 GB of Flash storage. Curiously enough, Datawind covers for the lack of storage by providing 25 GB of online storage. The 7-inch display has only 800 x 480 pixels.
Other features include 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Ethernet, 3 USBs and a slot for SD cards. It can run for up to four hours. Software is also bundled with the new netbook, including the XIP Office suite, a media player, and email service.
Datawind’s Ubisurfer netbook is available immediately here.
The Samsung NC10 netbook has recently become available (for as little as £30) through contracts with three mobile broadband companies: 3, Vodafone, and O2. This means that buyers now thankfully have a larger selection of pricing and usage plans to choose from.
3 is offering the NC10 with a mobile broadband package priced at £30 per month while O2’s monthly usage plan is the slightest bit cheaper at £29.38. Vodafone is offering two service usage plans, one priced at £25 per month for 1 GB and the other priced at £30 per month for 3 GB.
Samsung netbooks in general are pretty popular and the NC10 is pretty awesome itself, so if you’re interested, be sure to get yours soon before they run out.
Vodafone and Dell are planning on releasing the first netbook with built-in mobile broadband. This netbook is the Dell Inspiron Mini. In the past, these two companies have partnered to release netbooks equipped with SIM cards, but this is the first time that a netbook will have built-in broadband.
Vodafone will be offering these netbooks with a 2-year contract. Service plans will cost a bit over $40 per month. The Dell Inspiron Mini comes with an 8.9″ screen and features Windows XP, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
Verizon has just released its subsidized HP Mini netbook, featuring international data access.
It has all sorts of new connectivity tricks in store, including “Qualcomm’s GOBI tri-mode EVDO/UMTS/GSM/EDGE 3G modem with dual-band EVDO Rev. A, quadband GSM/EDGE and triband HSPA access with US 3G support.”
Furthermore, the new Verizon HP Mini has a generally standard setup – the 1.6 GHz Atom N270, 1 GB RAM with a 2 GB option, and a 10.1-inch display. The 80 GB hard drive is a pain, but with Windows XP, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, and exceptionally low prices it’s hard to complain.
What exactly are those prices? Take a look:
“The HP Mini 1151NR is $519.99 Month-to Month, $349.99 on a 1 year agreement and $249.99 on a 2 year agreement before a $50 instant rebate bringing the totals to $299.99 and $199.99 after selecting either the $40/month or the $60/month data plans which are set at 250 MB and 5 GB monthly access respectively.”
Sounds good so far. Check back soon more on the Verizon notebook, or check out some of our archives on other netbook mobile broadband plans.
Today we’ll be focusing on something that seems to be on everyone’s mind – 3G netbooks. I’ve gotten several emails asking about the matter, so today’s ASK NBB hopes to conquer the question once and for all.
“I’m curious about 3G netbooks. Could you tell me about some netbook models that use 3G and what the future of 3G is for the industry? And what is the best mobile broadband plan for netbooks?
Thanks a lot!”Steve M.
I’m glad you asked, Steve. Since the release of the iPhone 3G the usefulness of the feature has been demonstrated in the hands of everyone lucky enough to get their hands on one. Adding 3G to netbooks makes them truly wireless tools, released from the bounds of the internet you’re getting at home or at work.
With 3G capability, you can use your netbook as a GPS system in the car, for last-minute work during a morning train commute, or while relaxing in a park far from Wi-Fi access. Sounds pretty good. So what netbooks out there will get you 3G?
Recent weeks have brought a horde of new 3G netbook releases, with both the Neo 101 and 720p Dell Mini 10 being released in the past few days alone. Lenovo also updated its virulently successful IdeaPad line with a new 3G netbook just four days ago.
The swift gains in 3G netbooking are no surprise – China Mobile, a 3G wireless provider, recently partnered with six other netbook manufacturers in order to spread 3G far and wide. The Dell Mini 10 was a product of that union, and with manufacturers “Lenovo, Founder Technology, Tsinghua Tongfang, Haier Group, [and] Hewlett-Packard” on board as well it’s looking like China Mobile’s netbook 3G is going to get very big very quickly.
So what about mobile broadband plans for netbooks? The main contenders are Verizon, which plans to subsidize the HP Mini 1000 according to a recent leak, and AT&T, which intends to offer a wide variety of netbooks including the Dell Mini 9 for as little as $49.99 nationwide.
It’s hard to say which plan is better – the cheap netbooks are a huge bonus, but both plans can get quite pricey as one unfortunate Oklahoma woman recently learned. I can’t give you a definitive answer about which to choose, but be sure to take into account more than just the initial cost of the netbook or the monthly rate – many mobile broadband companies charge extra fees for going above storage allowances, which could end up punishing your wallet if you aren’t careful.
In the end, 3G is an extremely useful feature which has become more and more widespread in the very recent past. It won’t be long before nearly all netbooks come with 3G, and if I may say so myself, that sounds pretty damn good.
Good luck to you, and as always, happy netbooking!
The headline-making Sony Vaio P has been getting everyone hot and bothered ever since its release at CES 2009. Is it a netbook, or just a netbook lookalike? Does it define all categorization? The device is a serious contender for netbook market share, however, although it’s price – a heart-wrenching $899.99 – is far above the range of most similar machines.
Aside from the major turnoff of the pricetag, the Sony Vaio P not-netbook has some awesome specs, including an 8-inch LCD screen with extra backlighting, a 60 GB HDD, and Vista Home (as well as dual-boot to XMB).
If the cost soured the Vaio P’s prospects of wide distribution, then Verizon is its boon. The cell-phone and mobile broadband company recently decided that it wants to offer a $200 mail-in rebate for the Sony Vaio P netbook.
As always, there’s a catch. Naturally, you need to activate a two-year wireless broadband plan with Verizon in order to score the rebate. Two hundred dollars sounds pretty good at first, but $60 a month for two years?
The choice is in your hands, consumers. Is the Verizon-Vaio P netbook deal worth it, or just a scam?