Smaller devices have to make design sacrifices and usually the PC Card slot is the first to go. There just isn’t enough space to fit the slot in with everything else and it is an easy choice for OEMs to make. Unfortunately, if you are a heavy user of EVDO like I am then using such devices means you have no wireless alternative to high-speed connectivity, without tying up your cell phone. This has been my major complaint with the Sony Vaio U750, OQO and the Motion LS800. To use one of these devices means I have an inability to easily connect to the web when WiFi is not available, and that’s a real deal killer for me.
Craig Pringle has blogged about a solution that addresses the problem and quite nicely. The GTran Wireless DotSurfer 6210 dual band DCMA/EVDO card (note the name is bigger than the device) is a PC Card available in his native New Zealand that works like other PC Card EVDO devices but adds a USB port for use with gadgets that lack a PC Card slot. The GTran can be easily used with these computers as Colin points out on his blog. All of the devices I mentioned earlier could use the GTran with the USB port and have EVDO functionality. This is very nice. So far the GTran is only available in New Zealand but if some enterprising US carriers were willing to license it from GTran, wouldn’t that be grand? Geekzone has a full review of the 6210 and it looks really nice, albeit pretty expensive. But what price would you be willing to pay for EVDO on your UPC?