recently announced “netbook” Ideapad mini-laptops will soon go on sale at AT&T’s 2,2000 retail stores and at AT&T’s Web site.

The telephone giant also will offer the smaller, cheaper versions of laptops that are being sold by Lenovo rivals Acer and Dell.

The netbooks will include support for high-speed 3G wireless access.

AT&T (NYSE: T) decided to roll out the netbook program after a recent trial offering in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Pricing for the new models is not yet available.

"Sleek, mobile and fast is all the rage and we’re going to answer that call with a lineup of the hottest mini laptops in the market," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, in a statement. "It’s clear there’s a demand for mini laptops.

“Our customers in the Atlanta and Philadelphia markets have responded well and the response isn’t limited to a specific demographic,” he added. “We’re getting interest from tweens, teens, young adults, moms on the go and small business owners. Consumers and small business customers really seem to be attracted to the convenience and portability of this connected device."

Netbooks have been a bright spot for PC makers worldwide in recent months. AT&T noted that analyst firm IDC recently forecast the shipment of more than 22 million netbooks this year.