HP to offer free Wi-Fi with small-business laptops

The PC manufacturer has entered into a partnership with hotspot aggregator The Cloud, which will provide a year's free Wi-Fi access to users of B- and P-range notebooks and mobile workstations

HP is to offer a year's free Wi-Fi access to buyers of certain business laptops, after setting up a partnership with hotspot aggregator The Cloud.

From 1 May until the end of July, customers buying HP's range of 'B' or 'P' commercial notebooks or mobile workstations will get 12 months' free Wi-Fi access across The Cloud's entire UK network, which covers around 6,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. The three-month promotion, which is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses, was announced on Tuesday.

The Cloud has hotspots in locations including Best Western and Crowne Plaza hotels, Pret A Manger, McDonalds and 11 airports. Connection will be automatic from the relevant HP notebooks, following online registration and the downloading of client software.

A spokesperson for The Cloud told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that the deal will not include free access to the Wi-Fi provider's non-UK hotspots, which number around 15,000 across Europe.