Clear Offers Subsidized WiMAX Netbook for $199

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What happens when you combine an “old school” netbook with cutting edge mobile broadband? You get a subsidized netbook deal with WiMAX, of course! Liliputing caught an eyeful of just such a deal on the Clear website. And if you live in a WiMAX coverage area, it’s actually more compelling than a subsidized netbook with today’s 3G technologies. That’s due to the lower pricing of WiMAX as compared to EVDO or HSPA. Clear (s clwr) offers a two year deal with this netbook at $45 a month, but the first six months are discounted down to $30 each. That brings your total data charges to $990 over 24 months, which is a far cry from the $1,440 cost of traditional data plans. But about that netbook…

Turns out that your subsidized hardware is long in the tooth. For $199 after rebate and subsidies, you end up with a Samsung NC-10. Now that device is by no means a bad one — it offers six hours of battery life, a 160 GB hard drive, 1 GB of RAM and 1.6 GHz Intel (s intc) Atom N270. The thing is, the new Atom netbooks are already appearing as the N270 is nearing it’s end of life. Pity that Clear couldn’t work a deal for something slightly newer.

Still, the NC-10 is quite capable and with this deal, you can save yourself nearly $500 in data fees over time — provided you have 4G coverage, of course. What would make this deal even more compelling would the inclusion of a dual radio for both 3G and 4G. Sprint (s s) is already offering adapters and mobile hotspots with this technology — it would make the netbook usable in far more areas.

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4G will definitely have to expand into more markets for stuff like this to sell. Big cities like LA are still yet to get any coverage, and may not for a while yet.

The other thing I see wrong here is the lack of built-in 4G. I find carrying a USB stick around a nuisance. It would be great to see a miniPCIe solution that can plug into existing platforms like the Gobi.

And I agree with you Kevin, Pinetrail is the standard to go by now. This appears to be another clearance house initiative by Intel/Samsung.

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