Verizon offers netbooks that work abroad…

I love this netbook style laptops and the built-in cell connection though not-new is a huge improvement. However, as the article says watch for those cell bills. I sold cell phones once and a cell phone in concept is similar to a credit card!!! Cell phone companies see the consumer with a cellphone plan as a shopper with a credit card. The charges can go up against one’s will or awareness and will be paid. This laptop system is a huge time-bomb. You can look up an article online about the daughter of some lady in (i think) Spain who spent $45000 in downloading a movie. Have a good life and be careful they are out to get you


via Consumer Reports by (Consumer Reports) on 5/15/09

Verizon offers netbooks that work abroad…


…but international downloads will bankrupt you.

As of this weekend, two cell-phone carriers will be offering netbooks equipped for 3G access in exchange for a two-year contract commitment. Following AT&T, whose netbook plans were unveiled in AprilVerizon has announced its own netbook offering.

Beginning on Sunday, customers will be able to purchase an HP Mini 1151NR for $200 with a two-year contract, after a $50 rebate. The netbook, which comes with a 10-in. display, measures just 1 in. x 10.3 in. x 6.6 in. Equipped with Windows XP Home Edition, 1GB of RAM, and an Atom N270, it’s very similar to the HP 1030NR in our latest Ratings of Netbooks (both links are available to subscribers). The main difference is storage: The HP 1030NR has a puny 16 gigabyte (GB) flash drive; Verizon’s HP Mini 1151NR has a more generous (though still puny by laptop standards) 80GB hard drive.

That difference prevents us from predicting the performance of the HP Mini 1151NR, except, perhaps, regarding ergonomics, since the two computers have very similar cases and keyboard layouts. Our biggest quibble with the HP test unit was that the mouse buttons were to the left and right of the touchpad instead of at the bottom, where they’re more easily reached by the thumb. This side-to-side configuration makes selecting a bit more of challenge. This shortcoming was also noted in the review by the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, who also cited poor keyboard performance, tinny-sounding speakers, and short battery life.

In terms of wireless connectivity, the HP Mini 1151NR is a world traveler. Besides built-in, it has a Qualcomm Gobi chipset that enables it to connect with multiple international cellular data networks. In the U.S., that’s Verizon’s CDMA network. But abroad, it can handle GSM data networks (with an optional SIM card that comes when you sign up for a Global Access plan), though not in the U.S.

Verizon's domestic cellular data plan is similar to AT&T's, though there are some differences:

$40 per month for a 250 megabyte (MB) monthly allowance (AT&T's $40 plan caps at 200MB) and 10 cents per megabyte overage $60 per month with a 5GB monthly allowance and 5 cents per megabyte overage (AT&T's $60, 5GB plan smacks you with overage at 50 cents per megabyte.

There are also two GlobalAccess plans for well-heeled travelers:

$130 per month for 5GB in the U.S. and Canada, plus 100MB of data in more than 30 “select” international destinations. But watch out. If you exceed this meager international allowance, you’ll be hit with overage fees of $5 per megabyte. That’s right, downloading one Jonas Brothers song could set you back more than $20. Going over the limit in the U.S. and Canada is also expensive with this plan: 25 cents per megabyte.

International Pay Per Use plan requires the $60 domestic Mobile Broadband service plan in the U.S., with international rates as follows: $2 per megabyte in Canada, $5 per megabyte in Mexico, and $20 per megabyte in other countries (imagine paying more than $80 for that same Jonas Brothers song).

Look for our head-to-head comparison early next week between Verizon's HP Mini 1151NR and the Acer Aspire One from AT&T Wireless, one of several netbooks offered by the carrier. —Mike Gikas

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