A PC for less than a buck
Ultraportable, Web-centric netbooks PCs have been on the market for a relatively short amount of time, but prices continue to fall, as new models flood the market and wireless carriers move to subsidize the purchase cost.
And now, in what is likely a sign of things to come, a netbook can be had for mere pocket change.
Best Buy is currently offering an HP netbook — the Compaq Mini 110c-1040DX — for the low-low price of 99 cents with the purchase of a 2-year data plan from Sprint. AT&T and Verizon already offer similar subsidies for netbooks–just not so steep. The same netbook will cost you $200 with 2-year activation with Verizon or AT&T. And without a contract, the device will run you $390.
Although the Compaq netbook — a 10-inch device with an Intel Atom processor, a 16-gigabyte solid-state drive and a Webcam — costs less than a pack of gum, the data plan will pinch the pocketbook. Sprint charges $60 a month for a 3G plan that includes 5 GB of data.
Still, if Sprint’s 99-cent netbook gambit finds enough takers, expect to see more and more offers like it popping up.