The *Real* Truth About $100 Netbook Notebooks

by Jay Bika on July 29, 2009 · 5 comments

in Netbook Buying Guide

We all love deals right? After all, who likes to pay full price for an item that can be obtained elsewhere at a better price? Let’s talk about the $100 netbook notebooks you probably have come across many times.
Are you getting a deal or are you getting duped on these $100 netbook notebooks?
First, I should mention that there are two types of $100 netbooks:
1) The little-known compact laptop brands with niche operating systems such as Android or Linux that cost the manufacturer little to make that ultimately the customers gets a pretty cheap price.
In this category, I can think of the HiVision PW700B, a sub $100 netbook that runs Linux
2) Well known ultra portable netbooks such as Acer Aspire One or MSI Wind that are offered at less than $100 by retailers or phone operators as long as the customer agrees to get on a two year data plan.
Here, I can think of the $100 netbook notebooks offers made by RadioShack in the US and Vodafone in some parts of Europe if I recall correctly.
In the first case, the sub $100 is a gamble because the brand is obscure and hence the quality of these netbooks is everyone’s guess. Furthermore, you need to be comfortable with the niche operating systems. If you’re the conventional type who likes to stick to what you’re familiar with, I would think twice on these types of deals. On the other hand, if you’re a computer pro and know your stuff inside out, grab the deal and run with it!
Where things really get interesting is with the $100 netbook notebooks offered on condition of signing a two year data plan contract. As a consumer, this is where you really need to be well informed and know how the game is played otherwise you’re in for a little costly surprise.
Chances are that you probably a mobile phone and that you are on a contract. If you are not, you definitely know someone who is and you have heard her or his story. You get the phone for free or really cheap as long as you agree to a two year contract.
You get to use your minutes and in the case of $100 netbook notebooks, your data plan for two years and all is good.
But how often does the phone last for two years? The thing either breaks down before the end of the contract or you find yourself needing a new one for reasons that are unique to you. If you do it after one year, you spend money on a new device and you’re still under the commitment of the two year contract in which twelve months remain!
Some people are comfortable with this of course and I am no judge but personally, I never get a free to cheap phone just to find myself on a contractual obligation to the phone company.
That’s what all these $100 netbook notebooks type-deals are all about. They may be of good service to you or they can be terrible masters. For instance, if your $100 netbook breaks and it’s your fault, you will still have to pay your monthly fee while shelling out your cash for a replacement compact laptop.
It also goes without saying that in the case of the Radio Shack deal, the $100 netbook deal actually costs you $1500 over two years.
Now that you know what the real truth is on these $100 netbook notebooks offers that you see left, right and center go out there and shop wisely.
Good luck!

We all love deals right? After all, who likes to pay full price for an item that can be obtained elsewhere at a better price? Let’s talk about the $100 netbook notebooks you probably have come across many times.

Are you getting a deal or are you getting duped on these $100 netbook notebooks?

First, I should mention that there are two types of $100 netbooks:

1) The little-known compact laptop brands with niche operating systems such as Android or Linux that cost the manufacturer little to make that ultimately the customers gets a pretty cheap price.

In this category, I can think of the HiVision PW700B, a sub $100 netbook that runs Linux

2) Well known ultra portable netbooks such as Acer Aspire One or MSI Wind that are offered at less than $100 by retailers or phone operators as long as the customer agrees to get on a two year data plan.

Here, I can think of the $100 netbook notebooks offers made by RadioShack in the US and Vodafone in some parts of Europe if I recall correctly.

In the first case, the sub $100 is a gamble because the brand is obscure and hence the quality of these netbooks is everyone’s guess. Furthermore, you need to be comfortable with the niche operating systems. If you’re the conventional type who likes to stick to what you’re familiar with, I would think twice on these types of deals. On the other hand, if you’re a computer pro and know your stuff inside out, grab the deal and run with it!

Where things really get interesting is with the $100 netbook notebooks offered on condition of signing a two year data plan contract. As a consumer, this is where you really need to be well informed and know how the game is played otherwise you’re in for a little costly surprise.

Chances are that you probably a mobile phone and that you are on a contract. If you are not, you definitely know someone who is and you have heard her or his story. You get the phone for free or really cheap as long as you agree to a two year contract.

You get to use your minutes and in the case of $100 netbook notebooks, your data plan for two years and all is good.

But how often does the phone last for two years? The thing either breaks down before the end of the contract or you find yourself needing a new one for reasons that are unique to you. If you do it after one year, you spend money on a new device and you’re still under the commitment of the two year contract in which twelve months remain!

Some people are comfortable with this of course and I am no judge but personally, I never get a free to cheap phone just to find myself on a contractual obligation to the phone company.

That’s what all these $100 netbook notebooks type-deals are all about. They may be of good service to you or they can be terrible masters. For instance, if your $100 netbook breaks and it’s your fault, you will still have to pay your monthly fee while shelling out your cash for a replacement compact laptop.

It also goes without saying that in the case of the Radio Shack deal, the $100 netbook deal actually costs you $1500 over two years.

Now that you know what the real truth is on these $100 netbook notebooks offers that you see left, right and center go out there and shop wisely.

Good luck!

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The *Real* Truth About $100 Netbook Notebooks » NetbookBlog
July 30, 2009 at 3:24 am

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 deb August 16, 2009 at 7:32 am

Comcast has a deal right now for a free Dell Netbook expires 8/23/09

2 Smidgen PC October 7, 2009 at 1:00 am

Yes. There is always a price to pay. If it seems to good to be true, it likely is.

Those Comcast or Verizon deals are the worst. Yea, you can get a netbook for free, or $50 dollars, etc. But…you’re tied into a contract for whatever service they’re offering Which will cost you a lot of cash.

3 Alex November 11, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Another big downside to 100buck netbooks is hardware. Lots of stuff are really small, but they have like 128 MB of RAM and a little 400 mHz processor! Come on, the intel Atoms at 1.6 gHz alone are worth extra cash. Usually if the average price for a certain model is low and bostes loads of features, it’s probably a safe bet to avoid that because it’s made out of tin foil and toothpicks. If you can get a deal though, like refurbs or Ebay for a new or slightly used higher end netbook, jump on it!!

4 Lauren September 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I have to correct that part when you say you need to be a computer pro to run linux. 10 years ago, yes … but now many of their distributions are far simpler, more user friendly and all around better than windows. I suck with computers, but my husband replaced my windows with Ubuntu remix for netbooks (thats Linux) I am in love… my 10 year old can use it like a pro with no instruction.

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