In the second installment of our series on great deals for business owners, we've got free software, an idea for a cheap holiday gift, and (finally!) a $100 computer.
The $100 laptop
Are we on the cusp of a new business model for laptops? RadioShack is selling the Acer Aspire One—a mini notebook with an 8.9-inch screen—for $100, as long as you sign up for a two-year contract for AT&T mobile broadband service, which costs $60 a month. You can check it out online, but the deal is only available in stores. With the mobile broadband connection, you can access the Internet as long as you're within range of AT&T's network. Read more about the deal here.
The Acer Aspire One has gotten good reviews, but here's the problem: most business owners would use a netbook as a supplement, but not a replacement, for a more powerful laptop. And why would you pay $60 a month for Internet access on a laptop that isn't your primary computer? Our advice: if you were, for some reason, planning to get a netbook with mobile broadband access, then go ahead and jump on the deal. Otherwise, ignore it. Still, this does open tantalizing possibilities for the future of computer sales. Will laptops eventually be sold cheaply or even given away for free with broadband contracts?
Looking for some inexpensive gifts for your employees (or anyone else)? Restaurant.com already sells $25 gift certificates for $10. Now, you can get another 70 percent off with the coupon code ONLINE, according to Brad's Deals. Yes, that's $3 for a $25 gift certificate. We won't tell anyone.