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Remember that iPod Touch case with built-in mobile hotspot, the one from Sprint that had the blogs buzzing about how it could turn the iOS MP3 player into an iPhone? Well, it’s finally arrived at the carrier and is ready for your always-on data-loving ways.
For $79.99, it presents an interesting option for your Touch. Nothing like having a mobile hotspot piggybacking right on the device. But as attractive as that sounds, this incarnation isn’t perfect. Here are a few things you need to know about this item:
(1) It’s only for the 2- and 3-generation iPod Touch. (Sorry, Touch 4 owners. You can connect to the hotspot, but the casing wasn’t made to fit perfectly with your gadget.)
(2) The hotspot feature can only support simultaneous connections from 2 devices.
(3) The no-contract monthly access plan is $30/month for 1 GB data on Sprint’s 3G network.
(4) The ZTE Peel chunks up that sleek form factor quite a bit.
Compared to, say, Sprint’s other product, the Overdrive, this seems a bit lackluster. OverDrive is a 3G/4G mobile hotspot that supports up to 5 simultaneous devices, and although it costs twice as much at $60/month, it offers more than twice the data bandwidth, at 5GB of data. There is, however, a 2-year contract required, but signing on drops the equipment price of the OverDrive to just $50.
Still can’t decide? Here are a few more details on the Peel:
- Dimensions: 4.8” x 2.62” x .86”, 3.2 oz.
- Standard 900 mAH Li-Ion Battery, up to 3 hours of active use time.
- Universal Wi-Fi compatibility with 802.11b and 802.11g.
- Compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP and Macintosh OS 10.5 and 10.6.
- Advanced security through WEP 64 Bit (Open or shared).
- Easy Hands-Free Activation and Admin UI.
- No software installation required.
- Internal antenna.
What do you think? Is a ZTE Peel + iPod Touch a good iPhone alternative? Or is it kind of weak? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. (And for more info, hit up Sprint online.)