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RadioShack Sells the Aspire One for $99 (kinda)

Not a lie, the Acer Aspire One is priced at $99.99 but only for customers who sign up for a qualifying two-year AT&T DataConnect mobile broadband service agreement with plans starting at $60 a month. That’s $60 before taxes. Ouch.

Out just in the nick of time for the holidays (December 24 aka Christmas Eve), a deal like this could have people hanging on til the last second to try and purchase a super cheap netbook with 3G access to the web. However, is it really all that cheap? Not really.

$99 for a roughly $300 laptop. At $60 month (and that’s a starting price but we’ll ignore that for now) you’re looking at the initial $99 and a two year contract with AT&T which totals a very pretty penny; $1,540. So is it worth it?

Well, we think it’s unfair of everyone to shout down the deal right off the bat. Netbooks are made for mobility and working on the move. If you need to access the Internet on the move and travel a lot for work then yeah, this is probably going to come in extra handy. Especially if you can expense the data plan to your company.

If you’re buying a netbook for college or just for use at the park or for the odd trip away then we can’t say stay away any clearer than this: RUN FOR THE HILLS. Really, if you’re just going to be using it once or twice a month, pay the full price for an Aspire and then dish out the cost of connecting at your local Starbucks. Common sense, people.

  • Radio Shack should stick to the pathetic collection of cell phones, remote controlled cars, and bad stereos that has become the bulk of their product.
  • pug_s
    $60 a month is a ripoff. Wait for a few months until you start seeing Blackberry Bold, and you can use it as a tethered modem for about the same price.
  • nukemaster
    RadioShack used to have great radios(Stereo systems) under the Realistic name :)
  • Master Exon
    I can use my BoostMobile i425 prepaid phone to tether a 4.0 kbps connection for free.
  • seboj
    Master ExonI can use my BoostMobile i425 prepaid phone to tether a 4.0 kbps connection for free.
    Try not to break any records with that.

    RadioShack is my safety net if I run out of a connector or cable part while on-site. Other than that, I never step into one. Oh how far they've fallen.
  • JonnyDough
    $60/month is the same as Sprint's broadband wireless service. For people living in remote locations where this is really the only option other than satellite, it's not so bad of a deal. $99 is a heck of a price for a pretty netbook.
  • Tindytim
    Master ExonI can use my BoostMobile i425 prepaid phone to tether a 4.0 kbps connection for free.
    What's it like being on the web at half a Kilobyte?
  • mdillenbeck
    $60/month for "unlimited" mobile broadband (5 GB per month) is just about a universal industry standard. Want to tether a smartphone? Add $60/month. Want to use a usb/express card mobile broadband card? Pay $60/month.

    So, instead of buying the netbook for full price and getting a discounted smartphone or mobile broadband "modem", you get the discount on the device and have the capabilities built in.

    Personally, I think it is a good marketing strategy to add netbooks to the lineup. Sure, you are stuck with that netbook - but it is one less device to carry around in your pack. With a bit of hacking, I am sure you could make transform the netbook into a mobile broadband router and avoid buying something like the Cradlepoint PHS300.