If you were interested in the free laptop with broadband offer that Orange and PC World recently made headlines with, we hope you've signed up already, as the deal has somewhat surreptitiously ended.

Big news back in late July, PC World customers who signed up to a 2-year broadband connection with Orange at PC World were promised a new laptop worth over £300.

The free laptops were to have a minimum specification of 15.4-inch widescreen display, would be wireless enabled, have a Celeron processor, 256MB memory, 40GB hard drive and a DVD rewriter.

Rivals AOL quickly responded the promotion by offering a very similar deal in conjunction with the Carphone Warehouse but with a slightly better specced laptop.

It seems that the Orange deal was too good to be true - long-term at least - as the offer is no longer available.

A quick checks show the AOL and Carphone Warehouse promotion is still live for people to pre-register for - although this is clearly advertised as a "limited offer".

With no explanation on the PC World site given for the seemingly early end to the promotion it's possible that there were only a certain number of "free" laptops available and the stocks are exhausted due to popular demand.

Cynics might suggest though, that the whole thing was a short-term publicity stunt to get some headlines for a broadband service that has come bottom in UK customer satisfaction charts now for the second year in a row...