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VIDEOVIEW: Option GlobeTrotter GT MAX HSUPA PCMCIA Modem Card
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 20.03.08 - 11:58:39 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 25105x
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As recently mentioned, for some reasons I have to use a PC card modem to wirelessly go online with my Notebook and since my old PC card was UMTS only, I've decided to upgrade to a new HSDPA-enabled PC card. Since I'm a long time and happy user of Option cards, I decided to go with another Option card and I've chosen the GlobeTrotter GT MAX HSUPA card which features quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as triband UMTS and HSDPA up to 7.2 Mbps but also HSUPA up to 2 Mbps. So beside supporting virtually all GSM and UMTS frequencies worldwide, which makes it truly a digital globetrotter, the GT MAX HSUPA also supports the latest and fastest HSDPA and HSUPA evolutions.

The design of the GlobeTrotter GT MAX incorporates Option's unique and handy "Butterfly" retractable antenna concept, as introduced with Options first GlobeTrotter GPRS card years ago. That frees you from the need to remove any part of your card from your notebook for transport.
Furthermore, and this makes the card even more interesting for non-techies, the GlobeTrotter GT MAX HSUPA uses Option's Zero-CD technology which means that all required applications, manuals and drivers are distributed and installed automatically when the GlobeTrotter GT MAX HSUPA is inserted for the first time. There is no need for CD installation (a CD-ROM is even not included) which makes the GlobeTrotter GT MAX HSUPA a truly Plug'n Play solution:

The connection manager Option installs is the previously motioned GlobeTrotter Connect software which is a pretty basic but easy to use interface. In case the GlobeTrotter Connect software recognizes the SIM card, it even automatically provides the required settings like APN, user ID and password already that you can connect with your 2.5G/3G network right after the installation. Furthermore this GlobeTrotter Connect installation routine is quite handy if you have to change the Notebook since you don't have to download the required drivers first but the PC card comes with the drivers and connection manager already.

While neither HSDPA 7.2 Mbps nor HSUPA 2 Mbps is widely deployed today, recently I had the chance to test it and all I can say it's quite amazing; especially because it's even faster then my DSL connection at home. I've reached speeds of around 6 Mbps in downstream and 1.5 Mbps in upstream. Now that's what I call mobile broadband.

The GlobeTrotter GT MAX HSUPA supports Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and MAC OS X and is available from Option for 210 Euro.

Cheers ~ Arne


 
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Comments
Posted by Arne Hess on 20.03.08 - 15:36:38

I got two or three E-Mails where I was asked why I'm using a PC card instead of a Windows Mobile device and well, basically there are two reasons: Unfortunately Bluetooth 2.0+EDR isn't fast enough to either support HSDPA 3.6 or 7.2 Mbps which means I have to use a USB cable to get the full benefit from HSDPA. However, a USB connected Windows Mobile smartphones is somewhat inconvenient for a Notebook/Tablet PC which you have to carry around (something I have to do at the moment because I have to work remotely). That's the reason why I've switched "back" to a PC card.
And why a PC card and not a Express card? Well, thankfully my Tablet still features a PCMCIA slot and compared to Options Express cards, its PC cards have one (for me real) benefit: the Butterfly antenna which allows to leave the card plugged-in while the Notebook is transported.

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