"Free" laptops that are advertised with numerous broadband deals are not free per se. Instead, users end up paying for them through their monthly contract payments - which act like regular installments.
We've rounded up five of UK's top free Laptop and Netbook mobile broadband deals which should cover the needs of the increasingly numerous party of people who choose to access internet on the move.
(1) £20 Three Mobile Broadband Package
Simple and straight forward. If you are a light user and want to get the cheapest mobile broadband package on the market, then try the Compaq Mini 700 and Three's 1GB mobile broadband package. For £20 per month (over 24 months), you end up paying £480. The cost of the laptop is around £300 which means that the true cost of the broadband package is around £7.50 - instead of the usual £10 per month. The Compaq Mini 700 is certainly one of the better netbooks out there with a large 10.2-inch LCD screen, a 60GB HDD and a Bluetooth. What's more, the modem - which comes with a microSD slot - is free and 3 even throws 100 web texts in the package. Find out more here.
(2) £40 unlimited mobile broadband package from T-Mobile
If you can afford £40 per month for a mobile broadband offer, then consider this 24-months, T-Mobile proposition which offers a broadband speed of up to 4.5mbps and includes unlimited download. There's a fair usage policy which is not fully explained on Carphone Warehouse. However, T-Mobile says that " If you use more than your fair use policy amount, we won't charge you any more, but we may restrict how you can use your plan, depending on how often you go over your amount and by how much."
As long as you don't do VoIP and file-sharing, that should not be problem. Carphone Warehouse offers a Sony Vaio NS20E Silver laptop, which normally costs around £470. It is a 15.4-inch laptop with a Core 2 Duo CPU, 3GB RAM, a webcam and a 250GB hard disk drive. The overall cost of your broadband package would therefore be £20.41 per month.
(3) £40 5GB Deal with free Bluray laptop
PCWorld sells wireless broadband packages as well and for £40 per month over 2 years, you can get a £432 discount on a HP Blu-ray laptop, bringing the total price of the package to a not-so insignificant £1057.86. The laptop, a HP DV5-1110 costs £529.99 instore, comes with an AMD Turion dual core CPU, 3GB memory, a Bluray reader and a 250GB hard disk drive. The mobile broadband package supplied is 3 mobile's 5GB data offer which costs £15 direct at 3 mobile. Which means that you are being charged a significant premium by PCWorld - more than £120 according to our calculator. See more here.
(4) Bare Minimum Broadband Package
If you can survive looking at a 7-inch LCD monitor, don't mind a refurbished laptop and working on a cramped keyboard, then why not consider laptopsdirect's offer, a £99 Asus EEE PC. It comes with only 2GB inbuilt storage but this can easily be boosted to 10GB with a £8 8GB SDHC card. Then head to 3 Mobile and grab their Broadband Lite package for £10 per month. Over two years, you will have spent only £14.56 per month. That's £5 less than the rest of the competition and you're tied in an 18-month contract.
(5) Integrated Dongle Offer
Not many laptops offer inbuilt. The Advent 4213 is one of them and is available with T-Mobile's unlimited data package (yes the one with a 3GB fair usage policy), for only £25 per month at the Link. The laptop has a usual instore price of £280 and is a rather well specced netbook with a 10.2-inch display, a 160GB HDD, Windows XP OS, inbuilt modem and an Intel Atom CPU. The package also offers 200 free web texts as well. T-Mobile currently sells the 24 month stand alone package for £345; this computes into a £26 per month. This means you are better off with the Link.