3 Readies Free Netbook Plan & Skype 2 Handset

Hoping for yet more successful strikes against the big boys.

Yet more reasons to like 3…

Following on from Carphone Warehouse’s free webbook offer, the progressive telco has announced a deal to do something a little better for those of slightly richer blood.

Taking a step up 3 will be offering a free HP 2133 mini-note (top) with 8.9in display on a 5GB per monthly data card package plus free dongle for £35pm. Contracts will run two years, but so should your mini-note. Either side of this deal are matching two year, 5GB per month mobile broadband tariffs at £30pm for an HP 530 laptop and £40pm for a swanky HP dv6910 Pavillion – laptops just became free, kinda.

Expect 3 to start rolling out these deals before the end of the month.

Also impressing us is what 3 has come up with for its recently leaked ‘Skypephone S2’ (above left). We already know the specs (2.2in LCD, HSDPA, 3.2MP camera, microSD slot, WiFi) but the software is something of a breakthrough offering driver-less tethering (installation software is kept on the handset), IM, MySpace, Facebook and Google Maps integration and automatic melding of your Skype contacts into the phone address book. For web trawlers, £2.50 per week and £5pm bolt-ons are also available which provide 10MB per week and 1GB of data per month allowances respectively on PAYG.

The Skypephone S2 will appear in August for just £70 on PAYG or free on Mix & Match, while the original Skypephone (above right) will drop to just £49 on PAYG – quite the bargains.

Coming on the back of the news 3 had landed the Bold I can also reveal the highly anticipated Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 is on the way to the network, though – at least in the version I tried – the interface suffers the slow, laggy feeling which made the Touch Diamond something of a disappointment.

Keep it up 3.

3 UK

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