$99.99 wireless notebooks: Boost for e-reading—IF buyers can stomach AT&T’s costly two-year lock-ins

image 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.

2 Comments on $99.99 wireless notebooks: Boost for e-reading—IF buyers can stomach AT&T’s costly two-year lock-ins

  1. The funny thing is that even though most of those will be used for reading and as good as none for ebooks, because the only way a deal like that makes sense is if your actually going to need the data transfer and that means reading off the web and not a desktop app.

    AT&T is getting a damn good deal here by the way but it does raise a different potential what if you instead of selling ebooks sold subscriptions to libraries of books at maybe $20 or $30 a month that leaves $30-40 for the network operator and at that price you might still see operators substidizing laptops.

  2. I can confirm that the Acer Aspire One has an LED backlit 1024×600 screen – I’m the proud owner of the bottom of the range model running linux.
    The screen is excellent and the other specifications perfect for web, email and office-type work. I find the keyboard isn’t as good as my full size ergonomic keyboard obviously but for a ~90% sized keyboard it is excellent.

    If you are into “cloud computing” then this radio shack promo will be right up your street. I’m not so I’ll stick with the occasional bluetooth tethering to my phone.

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