$99.99 wireless notebooks: Boost for e-reading—IF buyers can stomach AT&T’s costly two-year lock-ins
December 12, 2008 | 7:47 am
The $99.99 iPhone isn’t here yet. But if you can stand a two-year $60-a-month commitment to the AT&T wireless network, you can buy an Acer Aspire One for that price at Radio Shack. The Acer goes on sale there effective Sunday.
Among the features beyond the AT&T wireless are 802.11b/g WiFi, a 160GB hard drive, weight of just 2.44 pounds, Win XP and an 8.9 inch LCD, presumably with sufficient resolution for many e-book lovers. Maybe 1024 x 600?
The e-book angles
So will Radio Shack understand the e-book possibilities here? The company says that laptop is for “commuters, students, travellers and mobile professionals.” Perhaps it could work out a deal with eReader or Mobipocket and do some joint promo, complete with sample e-books from Random House, TOR or another publisher hip to the potential of freebies. And what about Lexcycle’s Stanza? Will Lexcycle release a version of the program optimized for netbooks, with the catalog/downloading system included?
Radio Shack operates 4,400 company stores, so this could be a nice little boost for e-books if someone connected the dotted lines.
If you simply want to buy the notebook or at least an equivalent: Check out Amazon. Price was around $379.
Related: Techmeme roundup, as well as Slashgear item, which calculated the total costs at around $1,540. Some bargain, eh? But if this can get more people into e-reading, then worse things could happen.