Orange is going to start offering its broadband customers free PCs.

According to PC Retail mag, Orange has done a deal with HP and Asus so that its customers, including SMBs that use its broadband services, will get a laptop in exchange for signing up to a 24 month contract.

Orange had suggested in the past that this may be a possibility for it, with chief executive Tom Alexander said he wanted the company to "evolve" but then all went quiet.

Now, however, Orange has revealed a plan that is sure to have PC retailers biting their fingernails.

Consumers will be able to get their hands on Asus' Eee PC 900 16GB model by signing up to a £25-a-month contract, while business customers will be offered a range of HP laptops including the 6370s and 6730b series with tariffs ranging from £35 to £45 per month.

Orange retail stores and will be stocking Asus' Eee PC from August, while the business contracts will be available by calling Orange telesales.

Devices director at Orange UK, Francois Mahieu told PC Retail: "We're committed to delivering quality, service and innovation for customers, so we're really pleased to be launching a range of connected laptop offers with out first partners HP and Asus".

"Over time, we will be looking to expand our offering even further with more suppliers who are at the forefront of laptop technology, making it even easier for our customers to connect to the internet seamlessly, whether it is for work or play."