April 22, 2009 Maybe it was growing up and playing with Transformers, but here at Gizmag we love gadgets that can transform from one thing into another - be it from a chair to a bed or a car to a boat. If it's 2-in-1, it's sure to get our attention. While possibly not on the same level as these examples, Sprint’s new Sierra Wireless AirCard 402 should come in handy for owners of multiple laptops with its ability to connect to mobile broadband via both ExpressCard and PC Card slots thanks to a locking 2-in1 adapter.
Both connections offer dual-band CDMA (1900 and 800 MHz) connectivity and EV-DO 1xRTT, Rev. 0 and Rev. A support, with Sprint claiming typical upload speeds of 350-500 Kbps with peak speeds of 1.8 Mbps and typical download speeds of 600 Kbps - 1.4 Mbps with peak speeds of 3.1 Mbps where EV-DO Revision A is available. The card also includes GPS capabilities that allow access to desktop GPS applications and location based services to locate the nearest bank, restaurant or gas station using the latest version of Sprint’s SmartView software.
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Designed with the road warrior in mind the unit features a fixed, internal antenna and is constructed from high strength plastics, while its compact form factor, (5.11” x 2.13” x 0.42”), which sees it extending about an inch from the side of a laptop, is designed to minimize any potential breakage accidents and let users leave the card plugged in while on the go. Plus, on top of standard mobile broadband card features, Sprint says the AirCard is the first card form factor from Sprint to incorporate a new and innovative lighted design with lighted graphics that, well light up when plugged into your laptop.
The AirCard 402 is compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 2000, Mac OSX and Linux and is available for USD$99.99 after $180 discount and $50 mail-in rebate – not bad when compared to Sprint’s other ExpressCard options that don’t offer the flexibility of a PC Card connection.