Guide To Free Netbooks With Mobile Broadband
How to get a free mini-laptop netbook as part of a mobile broadband contract.
The whole concept behind a netbook is mobility. Smaller and lighter than traditional laptops, a netbook is a portable computer that fills the gap between inflexible smartphones and bulky notebook computers. A netbook allows you to access the internet from remote locations and do so without sacrificing power, usability and speed.
As a portable device, a netbook goes hand in hand with a strong mobile broadband plan. For this reason, many mobile broadband services are pairing their service with free netbook deals, allowing consumers to save on both products through exclusive bundles.
Free netbook broadband deals
Technically, netbooks aren’t free. Each free netbook deal typically is tied to a long term contract with a mobile broadband provider. These contracts range between 12 to 24 months, and the cost of the netbook is usually tied into the monthly payment.
However, by virtue of this plan, a free netbook deal allows you to defer your payment over the course of the contract, and do so without interest. As these deals save the consumer from paying a lump sum upfront, free netbook plans have been increasingly popular during the economic downturn.
When choosing a free netbook deal, it is important to factor in the increased cost of your monthly payment. This is basically the cost of your netbook. While many of these deals offer a substantial discount when compared to paying by credit, the cost varies from plan to plan and may be more than price of purchasing a netbook outright. Therefore it is important for every consumer to calculate and compare the total cost of the netbook before choosing a particular package.
Netbooks vs. Laptops
Many mobile broadband services also offer free laptop deals in addition to free netbook offerings. As a consumer, the choice really comes down to what better suits your individual needs. Generally, laptops have more storage, memory, and processing power. However, these machines are geared more toward multimedia users, heavy data downloads and gaming. This is not to say netbooks are incapable of performing tasks beyond casual browsing and social media.
Despite their lack of size, netbooks can still run many of the basic programs and office applications that are the primary focus for business users and students. Advantages of netbooks include:
- Light and easy to carry; can fit in most handbags
- Great for casual internet browsing
- Can handle basic office functions, including word processors and spreadsheets
- Capable of playing music and low resolution video
- Available in 7 to 10 inch screens
Finding the best free netbook offer
When choosing whether a free netbook deal is right for you, it is essential that you look over its specifications. As computers consist of many different parts, the quality of a free netbook isn’t necessarily a matter of processing speed and size. The following are some factors to consider when choosing your netbook:
- Battery Life – Standard battery life runs between 2 to 9 hours, depending on use. Screen brightness can also greatly affect how long your netbook runs, as well as the type of hard drive. A solid state drive (SSD) will have a longer battery life than a normal hard drive (HDD).
- Storage – Netbooks normally use 3 types of storage: SSD, NAND and HDD. Each has different speeds, storage capacity and power consumption. For example, an HDD will have much higher storage capacity than an SSD or NAND, but will have much lower battery life and decreased performance.
- Operating System – Not all netbooks use a Windows OS. Many netbooks are made cheaply by using an open source system such as Linux.
- Mobile Broadband Service – Ultimately, any free netbook deal will require a long term commitment to a specific carrier. This is why the quality of mobile broadband service might be the single most important factor in choosing a free netbook deal. While it’s normal for mobile broadband to be a bit capricious in its quality, be sure that the company’s 3G coverage is expansive enough to suit your travel needs. Spend some time checking coverage sites and customer feedback in order to ensure a specific carrier covers your area.