Those folks at SlashGear have gotten their hands on one of the first EV-DO Rev. A USB modems out there and have published a review of the littlest high speed modem. It looks like the Sprint U720 USB modem is a little bigger than I would have expected but it’s great to see a USB modem for the next generation of EV-DO being released. SlashGear got the new Sprint modem working on a Mac too which is good news for all the fanboys out there. I have to admit I am surprised that the observed speeds of the U720 were lower than those I regularly get with my Verizon PC Card modem even though my service is not Rev. A. yet. The U720 review reports speeds of "512Kbp/s downstream and 312Kb/s upstream" which is far below the capabilities of the Rev. A standard. The Sprint U720 opens new possibilities for UMPC owners without a PC Card slot and it’s cool to see these USB devices appear in the real world.
UPDATE: SlashGear tested the Rev. A modem in a market where Rev. A has not been deployed so that is the reason for the low bandwidth they report. The reported speeds are still far lower than the first generation EV-DO I get with my PC Card. I wonder if that’s a trade-off in these super small modems with tiny antennas compared to the PC Card big brothers?