Monday, February 26, 2007

Pantech PX-500 EVDO Card

Pantech PX-500 EVDO Card

Real road warriors know that Wi-Fi’s coverage can’t be relied upon for professional purposes. The Pantech PX-500 is a PCMCIA card that can connect your laptop to Sprint’s 3G network and let you access your emails and data in a much wider area when compared to WiFi.

Once plugged, the card will stick out from your laptop by 1.2 inches. It’s not a lot, but I certainly recommend removing the card when packing your computer in its bag. At the end of the card, the antenna can be raised up to get a better signal, but in our tests, we saw no difference on reception.

The software is very easy to install and should not take more than 5 minutes. A connection icon will appear on Windows’s desktop and a simple click on the “Go” button will connect the user to Sprint’s network.

Let’s go to the crunchy part: performance. When Sprint’s EV-DO (3G) network is available, the connection gets a (real-life) speed* of 480 kbps downstream and 115kbps upstream. It feels like the basic DSL speeds that we were getting on DSL a few years ago, except that the latency is quite high: 330ms with the EV-DO connection, compared to 33ms with DSL. That translates into a less “reactive” browsing experience. Even though WiFi is much faster, I don’t think that it can be relied upon at the moment. EV-DO’s coverage is much wider and the Pantech PX-500 will get you online anywhere a Sprint wireless signal is available.


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