Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Cellular Netbooks Are Downright Cheap

Is most of your computing done on the run? If so, you may be interested in a computer that's optimized for mobile use. That's one of the new netbooks with built-in 3G cellular Internet access.

What's so special about the netbook computer? After all, laptops aren't all THAT big and they do a nice job at the coffee shop.

Sure they do. In fact, if there were no netbooks a laptop with a wireless modem aircard would do the same job. Well, if you don't mind lugging a big padded bag with a big heavy computer with more stuff inside than you really need.

Mobile computing is what netbooks are optimized for. They're about half the size and weight of a standard laptop computer. They have much larger screens than smartphones and full QWERTY keyboards with decent size keys. That puts them a step above smartphones and messaging centric cell phones when it comes to Internet access. They also have hard disk drives, fast processors and enough RAM to run a standard operating system. Two popular models run Windows XP Home Edition.

What netbooks don't have is CD ROM or DVD drives. They're optimized for operation on the Internet, not running sophisticated image manipulation software or playing DVD movies. You can get your multimedia experience online, as needed. Because they're Internet machines, netbooks are gravitating toward having built-in 3G cellular wireless connectivity to augment the standard WiFi access.

What 3G wireless gives you is the ability to use your computer on the Internet wherever you happen to be. Cellular towers transmit both voice and data signals. The wireless modem aircards in netbooks pick up only the data signals, so they are not useful as cell phones. But they will let you browse the web and send email while parked in your car, on the bus or at a client's place of business. Ready to close an order? Pull out your netbook and enter it online while sitting next to the customer.

If you want to buy a netbook, you'll find them priced less than laptops but still in the $300 to $600 range. You can get your netbook for a fraction of that by ordering it along with a cellular data plan. How cheap? How about $49.99 for an Acer Aspire One bundled with a 2 year AT&T 3G wireless plan. The carrier subsidizes the cost of the netbook just like they do on cell phones. You need to commit to a 5 GB monthly data plan for $60 per month.

What are the hottest cell phone deals available right now, including free cell phones? Use the Cell Phone Plan Finder to check out the top phones and associated wireless service plans. You can also buy these machines without a data plan for more money and simply use the WiFi connectivity in hotspots.

If you would rather have a smartphone or other cell phone with Internet access, such as a BlackBerry, check out the free and low cost options available at Cell Phone Plans Finder right now.

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