Buy a Netbook for $31 ‘Net’

Reader John T. passes along this deal on the Acer C7 Google Chrombook.

It’s a very basic stripped down netbook that costs $199. This seems a fair review.

But they give you (12) Gogo wireless internet day passes which sell for $14 each.

So if you would be buying inflight internet day passes anway, you’re effectively buying this netbook for $31 plus shipping. Surely it has to be worth that price, or could be eBayed for more.

Or it might be a good deal if you were keeping the Acer C7 and unloading the gogo wireless internet pass codes. Thus this deal may be useful to some.

And of course my Staples sells Google Play gift cards. So one could earn 5 points per dollar buying this to boot..!

Update: Readers in the comments suggest it may not be possible touse Google Play gift cards to buy hardware. It was a bit of a throwaway idea on my part at the end of the post and not something I’ve investigated. Also some question raised about whether you can actually sell the inflight wireless passes or not. Love my commenters!!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So Gary – do you mean you should buy $200 worth of Google Gift Play Cards from Staples – then using them to buy the netbook? Pardon my question but it is early in the morning. Thanks

  2. After doing some Google research I don’t see a way to use Google play gift cards to purchase any hardware.

  3. @ Aunt Flo – If you google ‘google play gift cards’ and it takes you to the Google gift store for ‘Music, Books, Magazines, Movies & TV, Android Apps, AND Devices.’ The netbook is one of 5 devices listed so YES you can use it. Nice call!

  4. I was interested if I could sell the gogo passes, but can’t find them on ebay or anything. Anyone know where they can be sold?

  5. T&C say “Google Play gift cards cannot be redeemed for Android app subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, or hardware and accessory purchases.”

  6. Thank you for the post.

    I could buy the device now, BUT there is no mention of any free Gogo cards. What am I missing?

  7. Uh oh. There was a problem.

    We couldn’t start your purchase because of a technical issue.
    Details of the problem below:
    Sorry, we were unable to process this request. Please try again later.

  8. Showed up as available for me just now.

    Note that the Gogo access is tried to the machine. Hence, there is no possibility of selling it subsidize the cost of the computer or even of using it for your other computers.

    Note also that you cannot, currently at least, install Windows on the machine. The bios is locked to prevent this. You can, however, put Ubunto on it.


  9. I’ve sold about 30 Gogo passess on ebay, I never received more than $9 for a pass so figure you would make back about $50 – $60 after fees.

  10. As Robert pointed out, you cannot transfer the passes off the machine. Installing another operating system would likely make the passes inaccessible as well.

    I gave my parents this model of Chromebook for Christmas last year and was excited to take the Gogo passes, as they almost never fly, then found out how it works. The good news is that they are very happy with the computer.

    I just got one of the Samsung model a few weeks ago and haven’t had a chance to fly with it yet, but it seems light and small enough to make an ideal inflight laptop, especially with the free Gogo.

  11. The GoGo passes are attached to the MAC address of the computer. You can’t sell the passes to help subsidize the machine, and you can’t sell the machine to get the passes.

  12. Also worthy of note: You’re also getting 100gb cloud storage on Google Drive free for two years, which is worth ~$120 ($5.99/month). This is especially awesome if you have a massive ton of messages in your Gmail or like to upload full-res pics to Google+ / Picasaweb or like to scan and store a ton of doc in Google Drive 🙂

    Disclaimer: I work for Google, but not on any projects related to the above.

  13. Adam, thanks! This made me buy it. I have 410GB and I will benefit from extra 100GB, However my pricing is substantially lower than the one you are quoting. Maybe because I jumped on it from the beginning.

  14. Er, actually, I typo’d; the current pricing is $4.99 (not $5.99) a month:

    And yep, Robert, you and I are apparently both grandfathered into the less expensive pricing, but it’s indeed $120/yr for 100gb nowadays.

    Anyway, very happy that you’re gonna grab a chromebook. I don’t have this specific one, but I’ve used chromebooks and recently gave one to my parents, and I’m a huge fan of these things 🙂

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