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AT&T Goes With Acer, Dell Netbooks

AT&T hoists the curtain on its netbook lineup.



hoisted the curtain on its

netbook plan

Wednesday with devices starting at $50 and a minimum two-year monthly service charge of $60.

The netbook lineup starts with an


for $50 and a



at $100. The other three include another Dell, an


and a


in a price range between $200 and $750.

Notably absent from the lineup are netbooks from






, which have been rumored to be working with the telco.

AT&T's netbook service plan includes both 3G access and WiFi.

Netbooks have been the fastest growing segment of the PC market, and now represent about 15% of total computer sales. Consumers have shown some interest in the sub-$400 price tags.


first reported

last week, AT&T archrival



was preparing its own netbook assault. Similar to deals with smartphones and nearly all cell phones, the telcos are willing to cover a big portion of the device price in exchange for two-year contracts.

A $60-a-month data plan is worth $1,440 over two years to the phone companies. The strategy is somewhat debatable, however, in terms of its ability to generate new subscribers. Most people in the U.S. already have phone service plans.

But, some analysts point out, a cheap first computer with a data plan included might be a good fit for the back-to-school crowd.