But I just bought a little Acer Aspire One NetBook Computer (from Tigerdirect.com see reconditioned models: https://bit.ly/cp2pS ). It was cheap ($245.00 & Tiger shipped it free!) Small (Width: 9.8", Height: 1.14", Depth: 6.7", See full specs on the website) and Light (2.3 lbs).
When you hold it, it makes you want to disregard it as a toy. Do not be fooled. This is not a toy you are holding, it is the next step in portable computing. For starts, it has a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, 160 Gig capacity (think hard drive with no moving parts) an 802.11g wireless adapter, an SD card slot, 1024 X 600 resolution WSVGA CrystalBright (so it's only 8.9" – you can plug its 950 Accelerated Graphics into a plasma TV if you want to), 1 Gig of memory and 3 USB ports. The keyboard is big enough for a man to use.
Couple this with a Sprint AIRCARD (which is available now for free with a 2 year contract at $60 per month) and you have a workable word processing, emailing, web surfing machine for about the cost of Microsoft Office 2007 Professional – which, by the way, I installed on it – it works perfectly!
I thought it had Bluetooth (WRONG) – so if you buy one I highly recommend having that included – it makes Mice, Phone Sync, External keyboards and all a much more intelligent connection. I could buy a USB Bluetooth adaptor from Kensington for $30 – but I hate dongles.
Dell was selling one for $499 with a $350 rebate if you sign up with AT&T for 2 years at $60 a month. The Aircard was built in. But I think that offer expired 2/28/09.
But here is the real future shock.
I just bought a new phone from Sprint (I have one of those contracts with them that shares minutes between all my kids' phones. I will have this contract until I am buried because every time a phone on the plan craps out we upgrade for another 2 years to get the discount. These cagey bastards know how to keep you handcuffed!) the other day. It cost nothing because of the afore mentioned contract renewal. The thing is, even though my last Treo was pretty much a computer for web and mail, it was too freaking small for anything serious. I could check weather, read a blog and Twitter, plus simple mail. That's it. These phones cost close to $400.
Take a moment to put this together.
Since Sprint is the service provider for the data on my AirCard, when do you think they will start giving these netbooks away with a 2 year contract? Add Skype and a Bluetooth headset and it could be your phone (a lumpy solution but doable now). It doesn't take much of a stretch to see it integrated. Hell, I can almost fit this thing in my pocket…