AT&T is offering DataConnect Pass pay-as-you-go data plans for netbooks and notebooks without a long-term contract. AT&T is also offering the Acer Aspire AS1830 notebook, the Acer Aspire One 532h netbook, and the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 HD netbook with the new data plans. With a two-year contract, AT&T has priced two of the new devices at $39.99.
In a move to peddle more netbooks, including three new devices, AT&T rolled out new pay-as-you-go mobile data plans on Monday. The DataConnect Pass doesn't require a long-term contract, a first-ever move from AT&T for netbooks and notebooks.
The Acer Aspire AS1830 notebook , the Acer Aspire One 532h netbook, and the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 HD netbook, along with the other devices in AT&T's lineup, can tap into daily, weekly or monthly data plan packages.
"Demand for high-functioning, lightweight, mobile computing devices remains strong among consumers and small-business customers who want access to the Internet while on the go," said David Haight, vice president of product development for AT&T emerging devices.
Haight said DataConnect Pass plans offer customers value, choice and flexibility. Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis, agrees. As he sees it, consumers -- even small-business owners -- aren't always willing to sign up in advance for a data plan that they may or may not use.
"Pre-paid gives consumers a lot more flexibility, and that should help this category, which has not performed as well as carriers would have liked when they started launching subsidized netbooks," Greengart said. "This plan gives you some a la carte options that are much more granular."
DataConnect Pass options include the DataConnect Day Pass, which offers 100MB for $15, the DataConnect Week Pass, which offers 300MB for $30 a month, and the DataConnect Month Pass, which offers 1GB for $50.
"What AT&T is doing both with the pre-paid and post-paid mobile netbooks side makes sense," Greengart said. "There are a lot of options to digest, but there should be something to meet your needs. You don't have to figure it out in advance. You can buy the device with these capabilities and then adjust either your usage or your billing accordingly."
Consumers willing to jump on a contract for data can get attractive pricing for the new netbooks and notebooks AT&T just announced. Pricing starts at $39.99 with a two-year data service contract, including a 200MB plan for $35 per month or a 5GB plan for $60 per month.
As for the new netbooks and notebooks, the Acer Aspire AS1830 comes in a bronze color and weighs less than three pounds. It comes equipped with an Intel Dual Core i3 processor with 2GB RAM, 250GB of storage, 2GB of memory, a 11.6-inch high-definition display, up to six hours of battery life, a 1.3-megapixel web camera, and Windows 7 Home Premium. The Acer Aspire AS1830 is $239.99 with a two-year contract.
The Acer Aspire One 532h is less than one inch thick and weighs 2.75 pounds. Features include an LED backlit display, the Intel N450 Atom processor, a 10.1-inch display, up to four hours of battery life, a full-size keyboard and Windows 7 Starter edition. The Acer Aspire One 532h is $39.99 with a two-year contract.The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 HD weighs 3.1 pounds. It is available in light blue and features an Intel Atom N450 processor, 1GB RAM, 250GB of storage, a 10.1-inch high-definition display, and a 1.3-megapixel web camera. It offers up to eight hours of battery life and Windows 7 Starter. The Inspiron is $39.99 with a two-year contract.