Of course there is a catch. You need to activate the computer through Sprint in order to get this super price. But it seems to be a deal since the same activation through Verizon or AT&T gets the same computer for $199.99. Without a service contract you can buy the netbook for $389.99. You can get this deal through your local Best buy store, with a link below.

So what are the specifications of this netbook:

The Compaq 1040DX is basically a rebadge of HP’s Mini and offers the same specs: 10.1″ display with 1024 x 576 resolution, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, three-cell battery, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. Although I use too many devices to be locked into an embedded 3G solution, the deal might appeal to some.

What is the real cost of activating through Sprint?

Sprint is fully subsidizing the hardware price in order to gain a two-year service agreement. At $60 a month, the 3G service costs the consumer $1,440, for a rough net gain to Sprint of around $1,050 over two years for a single customer. Voice revenues are taking a back seat to the more lucrative data services, so I think this is a smart play for Sprint. All three carriers have invested billions of dollars in their networks, but you can’t recoup your costs and turn a profit if you can’t get customers on the network.

What do you think? Will you be running down to Best Buy to buy this netbook? I doubt I will.

Comments welcome.

Best Buy Offer