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Summary:

Have you been wondering why HP offers three different 3G options for the HP Mini 1000 netbook, when there are only two compatible 3G plans in the U.S.? I was wondering the same when I saw that you could add integrated 3G to your HP netbook […]

Hpmini10003g

Have you been wondering why HP offers three different 3G options for the HP Mini 1000 netbook, when there are only two compatible 3G plans in the U.S.? I was wondering the same when I saw that you could add integrated 3G to your HP netbook for $199. HP’s press folks responded to my inquiry on the topic and sure enough, they confirmed that the third option indeed uses a Qualcomm Gobi chipset. That’s the chip that supports both currently available wireless broadband technologies: EV-DO and HSDPA.

If you have carrier commitment issues, this might make for the best option because it gives you the hardware flexibility to use either Verizon Wireless or AT&T for your 3G connectivity. This also justifies the $199 card price a little bit more, since you’re able to switch wireless broadband networks in the future without adding additional hardware. For example: if you currently live and work in an area with great Verizon coverage but move to where the network is better served by AT&T, you should theoretically be able to switch carriers and networks simply by running the HP Connection Manager. Of course, that’s after jumping through any contract or account hoops with the carrier.

Remember that back in September, Verizon Wireless supplemented their one- and two-year contract commitments for data plans with a month-to-month option. I haven’t seen any news of AT&T dropping their contract commitments and when looking at their current terms for a Laptop Connect data plan, I see term commitments. Either I’ve missed some AT&T news on this front or it’s likely easier to move that HP Mini 1000 from Verizon to AT&T with this option and not so easy the other way around.

Update: if that $199 option is too much to swallow, it’s now slightly offset with a $40 price reduction on the netbook itself. HP indicates that the Mini 1000 now starts at $359 and I’ve confirmed it on the product page.

  1. It’s great that HP is offering a $40 rebate… but that still doesn’t justify the cost of embedded mobile broadband when you can get several Verizon mobile broadband cards for Free. And with an external mobile broadband card you’ll be able to use it in more than one computer or in a router to share the connection. Here’s a link to some videos that compare Verizon and Sprint mobile broadband cards: http://moremobileinternet.com/product-reviews/

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  2. This solution seems more a “convenience” solution for simple folks who like an all-in-one setup with no cards or USB sillyness to deal with. Of course we all know convenience comes at a price.

    I’ll stick with my 2133 mini note and express card broadband solution for now.

    Offer the monthly plans at a subsidized price with the Mini 1000, however, and that convenience factor suddenly becomes attractive and affordable.

    If this is the trend, I would like to see wireless broadband rates come down to DSL prices in the next few years.

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  3. Unfortunately there is not a lot of profit in this situation for anyone to offer a subsidy, HP certainly does not have much in a $400 netbook and AT&T or whomever has little reason to offer a discount on service for one device or another.

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