Brits on benefits will be able to purchase a refurbished Windows 7 PC from as little as £24 if they sign up to a one-year broadband deal, thanks to a Microsoft-backed organisation supporting the UK's digital inclusion agenda.
Get Online @ Home, a UK organisation backed by Microsoft and several local IT partners, is offering Brits on a variety of benefits a low-cost PC and broadband bundle to lure more of the nation online.
According to Go-On UK, the digital-inclusion organisation that Get Online @ Home is supporting, roughly 15 percent or 10.8 million of the UK's 63 million people do not use the internet, while 16 million Brits lack basic online skills.
Get Online @ Home is promoting the offer as £24 for a PC or £74 for a laptop, but it hinges on a few conditions.
The PC and laptop actually cost £99 and £149 respectively, but if those eligible buy the devices between 11 and 30 June and sign up to a 12-month broadband deal, they will get a £75 discount on the hardware, bringing the cost down to £24 and £74. From July the discount drops to £50. People not on elegible benefits can buy from the program too, but they don't get the discount.
The PC comes with a minimum 2GHz CPU, 1GB Ram, 60GB HDD and a CD drive and includes a copy of Windows 7 Pro and Microsoft's Home and Student suite of Office.
The refurbished laptop option includes a minimum 2GHz CPU, 60GB HDD, a CD drive and a 14-inch screen. It will be wi-fi enabled and have a webcam.
Broadband prices are listed as starting at £2.99 a month over 12 months from all major network operators, via price comparison site Simplifydigital.co.uk.
If money is the obstacle to using the internet and computers, the Microsoft-backed deal is cheaper for those on benefits than any new laptop available on Amazon.co.uk.
Samsung's Wifi Chromebook sells used for £159 and new for £229, for example, and of course does not include Microsoft Office or a broadband connection.
On the other hand, the refurbished PC offer comes as consumers turn away from laptops and desktops towards tablets and if consumers are happy with a 7-inch new Samsung Galaxy, at £139 that's cheaper than the official list price for the refurbished laptop.