Sascha Segan of PC Mag is out with a quick hands-on review of the new Sprint LTE/WiMax/3G EVDO hotspot that was announced at CES.
Here are some excerpts from the review:
PCMag said:Sierra Wireless released a new generation of 4G Wi-Fi devices at CES. It will be the first to merge Sprint's WiMax and LTE networks.
Sierra's hotspot for Sprint is a little wilder design than others. The thing looks like a table: it's resting on a gigantic battery, which speaks to the epic power requirements needed to support three modems (LTE, WiMax and 3G EVDO.) It's kind of cute, actually.
The Tri-Network Hotspot has the same display as the existing Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro, delivering network, signal and battery information. But when it boots up, it searches for first LTE, than WiMax, then 3G. Because we're talking about three different modems here, each one gets turned off when the next one is turned on, and then each one is woken up occasionally to check for a faster signal than the hotspot has at the moment.
Okay, it's a kludge: while the soft-touch plastic hotspot is as elegant as something with a huge honking battery could be, it isn't nearly as slim as Verizon's Jetpack nor as elegant as Sierra's existing Overdrive Pro. But I think people will be willing to take a slightly thicker hotspot in exchange for being to access the best of several available networks.
Sprint has not announced pricing or availability for their new hotspots. Sprint's LTE network is coming by midyear, the carrier said.