updated 10:40 am EDT, Mon September 20, 2010
ATT offers PAYG data, new Acer and Dell 3G systems
AT&T's mobile data plans expanded today with its first options for prepaid data. The DataConnect Pass gives those with built-in 3G in a notebook the option of paying for just a short stint of data without having to commit to a contract. Its rates carry a premium for the freedom at $15 for 100MB of data over the course of a day, $30 for a week pass with 300MB of data and a full month with 1GB for $50.
It's unknown if or when prepaid data will be available for stand-alone modems; it already exists for the iPad.
Three portables are coming along with the new data options, all of which have existed before but normally without the added 3G. Acer leads the group with the launch of the TimelineX 1830; it uses just a 11.6-inch display but has an ultra-low voltage Core i3, 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive to give it better performance than most netbooks. It costs $240 when tied to a two-year contract.
Acer also accommodates the lower end with the Aspire One 532h. The model is a basic netbook with a 10-inch display, a 1.66GHz Atom N450 and four hours of battery life. In exchange, AT&T prices it at $40 on contract and $450 without.
At the same level is a version of the Inspiron Mini 10. It primarily ups the 10-inch display's resolution to 1280x720 while keeping specs very similar to that of the Acer netbook. Accordingly, it also costs $40 on a contract.
All of the plans and options should be available today.
Aspire One 532h