CES 2010 Nugget: Sierra Wireless/Sprint Overdrive

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CES 2010 – the Consumer Electronics Show which has replaced COMDEX [R.I.P.] as the Las Vegas  IT place to be for the electronic gadget Hosers Test. It is so big, well attended by the suppliers plus reviewers, and there is so much to see and absorb across the hottest arena in IT, mobile electronic devices and gadgets – it is a formidable intellectual swallow to take in all that CES has to show. As for CES 2010, read any accounts and you will see writers gagging and spluttering that they had to deal with tsunami of  promising products at the show this year. It gives one a taste for what it must have been like in the 1849 and Klondike Gold Rushes – where one had to pan for gold almost 24 hours. But if you came across a nugget, you really struck it rich.

Here is the First of those Nuggets from CES 2010
As soon as I read the CES2010 press announcement on the Sierra Wireless Overdrive being offered by Sprint, I thought “I need to get one of these” and I am not alone as seen here and here again. Here are the key Overdrive features:
* Wi-Fi access for up to 5 Wi-Fi-enabled devices including PC, games, other carriers smartphones, game boxes, etc
* Supports both 3G and 4G WiMax from Sprint allowing easy change from 4G to 3G and vice versa
* Easy to use: compact, portable device requires no connector, activation or installation, enabling easy re-deployment with Wi-Fi range up to 150 feet
* Compatible with universal Wi-Fi devices working with all operating systems: Win, Mac, Linux, iPhone, webOS, etc
* MicroSD slot for shared storage up to 5 connected devices with support for memory cards up to 16 GB.
* LCD 1.4-inch LCD (128 x 228 pixels) shows device info such as Internet connect status, number of people sharing and battery life.
* GPS capable: built-in Wi-Fi GPS capability (on 3G) allows you to pinpoint and map your location
* Battery has life of 3 hours of use and 36 hours standby time; can be linked via USB extension cable (included) to computer to recharge
* It is small: 3.14 x 3.14 x 0.61 inches (HxWxD) and light: 4.5 ounces

The downsides are that the 3G service is capped at 5GB/month and the unlimited 4G service is limited to 27 areas in Sprints network. But big markets like San Francisco, NewYork, Philadelphia, etc are scheduled to be added to existing Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas 23 other areas.
Think of the advantages – now one can take their Wifi Web connection anywhere in the city. I can support other users in a workgroup. I can link my non-Sprint smartphone to the Overdrive. And with Wifi Direct and WiDi coming on stream I can WiFi share in more ways. Sounds and feels like gold to me and Amazon has it on sale for $50.

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