Nokia Offers Its Own Netbook: Booklet 3G
As netbooks gain more popularity and steam in the marketplace, it seems we're going to continue to see computers mimicking the model set by cell phones. To drive this point home, Nokia has just introduced a netbook of its own--the Booklet 3G. While the netbook will retail for the very modest price of $299, it will require a two-year 3G deal with AT&T that will likely run the consumer $60/month.
The new Nokia/AT&T netbook will feature integrated 3G, Wi Fi, Bluetooth, a webcam, GPS, the new Windows 7, and an HDMI output. It's composed of aluminum and includes a 10.1-inch screen. The battery is rated at 12 hours. The Booklet 3G will be available via Best Buy next month.
The notion of purchasing a computer tied up with a service agreement is a relatively new one in the market. Companies such as AT&T and Verizon have sold netbooks in this manner for several months, and given the netbook's place between fully-functional notebook and smartphone, it lends itself well to this type of deal. Much the same way your phone is subsidized through the carrier service, your netbook can now experience a similarly low price tag.
Subsidized netbooks offer a double edged sword to consumers: while initial buy-in costs are being brought down, you'll be tied up in the long run and spend plenty of money on monthly fees. Not bad if you'd already planned on purchasing a data plan, but potentially harmful if you're simply attracted by the low price tag and end up with more plan than you wanted. The non-subsidized price of the Booklet is $599--an extra $300 that might be worth it if you don't want to get tied down. Word is that the Booklet's Ovi software will support tethering.
What do you think? Do the low upfront costs of a netbook with service agreement offset the long-term expense? Will you purchase a netbook with service agreement in the future?