For many people who are shopping for a new laptop, there might be a need for a new mobile broadband connection also. This is why many companies and providers have great deals on laptops when combined with a new mobile broadband contract. In some cases the laptops can actually be free as part of the deal.
What this usually involves is signing up for a new contract of normally 12 months, during which you will have a monthly allowance of mobile broadband data. With 4G signal very widely available these days, mobile broadband is a great alternative to the hassle of setting up a standard broadband service, and is also more convenient in that it can be used anywhere and is not tied to one address.
There are different standard options for laptop/broadband bundles. A popular offering is that of laptops with built in mobile broadband modems. These are quite handy in that they have less installation hassle and parts to worry about. However, they offer less flexibility, in that both components are a fixed part of the contract and you can’t upgrade one component and not the other, and it is tied to working with one provider only.
The other alternative is to get a broadband laptop deal with a separate modem, usually a USB dongle. This is more convenient in many ways since it allows the broadband service to be separated from the laptop, so you can use it in other devices as well. This typically makes the introductory price higher and there will be less of a discount on the overall bundle in many cases.
From a troubleshooting perspective, built in broadband laptops can be more cumbersome, since there are less separate parts that can be fixed individually. If you need to send for repairs for one part then the whole laptop needs to go to the shop.
In general, these deals (whether offering free or cheap laptops as part of a data plan) don’t apply to high-end laptops that are top of the line. Furthermore, mobile broadband plans generally aren’t suited to heavy downloading of HD content or streaming.
But for these very reasons they are an economical and appropriate option for many people who want a cheap deal on something that allows them decent internet access for a good price in a flexible way, so those who use the internet mainly for browsing and communication likely will find they fit the bill well.