AT&T just added a pair of Windows 7 Starter netbooks to its stable, and while we've got nothing against the Samsung Go
and the Acer Aspire One
, we just can't help but feel preloading 7 Starter makes the already-dubious subsidized netbook value proposition even worse. Let's break it down: both the Go and the Aspire One will set you back $199 upfront (well, after mail-in rebate), and then you're on the hook for two-year data contract, which will cost you either $35 a month for a 200MB cap or $60 a month for a 5GB cap. Now, $35 a month for 200MB of data is basically worthless for a netbook -- that's what, a half-day of watching YouTube? -- so assuming you do what most people do and buy the $60 plan, you're out at least $1,639 over two years for last-gen netbook hardware running a gimped OS that doesn't even let you change the desktop wallpaper. Not exactly a screaming deal. We'd say you're much better off finding a netbook with XP on sale and just getting a regular free-on-contract USB data card, which you'll be able to use on multiple machines -- or, if you absolutely must have Windows 7, holding out for the coming flood of Pine Trail netbooks
at CES, which we're hoping will come preloaded with 7 Home Premium.