Virgin Media has announced that it will be flogging netbooks under a new brand called Freedom and these will be available for free to existing and new Virgin Media customers.
The small print however says that interested parties will have to sign for a two year contract with both fixed and mobile broadband. Getting the netbook with 1GB mobile data quota and a 10MB landline will cost you £933 over the duration of the contract or £38.79.
Virgin Media also said that it will be available from this week and is optimised for VM's 50mbps broadband access.
This is the second great news for Virgin customers in 24 hours; the other news is obviously the fact that they are cutting the price of their 50mbps broadband service by 20 percent.
The netbook can be either Virgin red or black in colour; it weighs 1.1Kg and is roughly the size of an A4 sheet when opened.
Powered by an Intel Atom N270 processor, it comes with the usual array of components - 10.2-inch screen, VGA webcam, 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, a card reader, Windows XP and WiFi plus antivirus software and MS Works. You will still need a USB 3G Dongle as there's no built in 3G modem.
Virgin Media is also busy trialling a 200Mbps broadband in the Eurostar-blessed town of Ashford in Kent, far faster than BT's own 40Mbps broadband test, also done on fiber optic.
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That is an excellent package from Virgin Media especially given the fact that committing its clients to a 24-month contract will mean significantly less churn. The value of the laptop - around £8 per month - can easily be recoup by savings in marketing and customer retention. Furthermore, this will allow Virgin Media to sell its mobile broadband package more easily.
Virgin Media offers 'free laptop' deal
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Virgin to slash 50Mb prices, launches netbook
Virgin drops 50Mbits/sec broadband to £28 11:51AM, Wednesday 15th July 2009