Sprint Offers First Netbook, Deal Draws Criticism

Sprint joins the netbook wars with the debut of the Dell Inspiron Mini today. It’s a 10-inch device that Sprint, in its press release, says “offers blazing-fast Internet access in a convenient, affordable and portable package that can easily fit in a purse, backpack or briefcase.” It sells for $199.99, but is already drawing criticism for the way it’s being marketed.

This review says it “isn’t quite the deal it seems to be.” That’s because, in order to get the netbook at that price, you have to sign up for a two-year data plan that’ll set you back $60 per month. Also, you’ll have to shell out $299.99 at the store. The mail-in rebate gets you $100 back. The deal is also criticized because the netbook doesn’t allow you to move your new Sprint service from computer to computer.

The review goes as far to say this venture into the netbook market “seems to be a test-marketing program that may or may not expand based on customer acceptance.”

AT&T became the first U.S. carrier to embrace the sub-laptop market this past spring. Verizon followed with an offering a month later.

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