Want free wireless? Check out T-Mobile's 4G Connect-powered laptops
Companies such as Dell and HP will be able to sell laptops with free cellular service. There are of course some strings attached.
T-Mobile unveiled a program today that allows consumers who buy certain laptops or tablets to access a free cellular connection.
The program, called 4G Connect, includes a built-in connection in select laptops, Ultrabooks, and tablets. The cell connection is free, but there are some catches. Consumers only get 200 megabytes of data each month, and free cellular connection lasts 12 or 24 months, depending on the manufacturer.
The Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook and the Hewlett-Packard Pavilion dm1 are the first two devices to get 4G Connect.
4G Connect represent a new way to sell wholesale capacity to companies. Manufacturers are likely paying upfront for the access, and using the free cellular connection to attract consumers.
While 200 MB isn't a lot, it's enough to check e-mail or do a little casual Web browsing while on the go.
The embedded connection also means no need for a mobile hotspot, wireless USB dongle, or to search for a Wi-Fi hotspot.