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Review: Verizon Wireless PC770 Mobile Broadband Card

The Verizon Wireless PC770 Mobile Broadband Card is a clever device, with the flexibility to provide both a PC Card and an ExpressCard connection.

The Verizon Wireless PC770 Mobile Broadband Card is a clever little device that is really two cards in one. In one configuration it is a standard Type II PCMCIA Card, but pull it apart and you have the newer ExpressCard connection. This gives the device extra flexibility when it comes to deciding how to connect it to your notebook or netbook PC.

Specifications

  • Minimum system requirements:
    • Microsoft Windows 2000, XP and Vista and Mac OS X 10.4.0 or higher
    • PC Card or ExpressCard slot
    • Internet browser software or the software used by your company for network access
    • 128MB memory and 100MB free hard disk space
  • Physical specifications:
    • Dimensions: 4.7" (H) x 2.1" (W) x 0.75" (D)
    • Weight: 1.65 oz
    • Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) Information: 1.179 W/kg on body
  • Price: $99 with 2-year contract and an online discount
  • Additional vendor provided information
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Who is it for?

The Verizon Wireless PC770 Mobile Broadband Card is designed for any user needing to remotely connect to the Internet and/or the business network but operating in an area without consistent WiFi access.

What problem does it solve?

In many areas and situations, free access to a WiFi hotspot is just not available. For a user requiring remote access to the Internet and ultimately to a business network, these situations require a connection other than typical the 802.11 protocol. Mobile broadband offered by Verizon or another carrier is one option. In this case, the PC770 Card offers the capability to make a wireless connection whether the PC has the older standard Type II PCMCIA card slot or the newer ExpressCard slot.

Standout features

  • Flexibility: With the flexibility to connect to a PC via two different slots, the Verizon Wireless PC770 Mobile Broadband Card can be used in both older notebook PCs and newer netbooks.
  • Verizon network: Verizon has a huge network and excellent service coverage in most areas, so it is likely that you will be able to find a mobile broadband connection when you need one.
  • VZAccess Manager: The software required for the PC770 Card to work is loaded onto the PC directly from the card itself. There is no need for disk drives and manual software installation and configuration. This makes the PC770 Card a perfect match for most netbook PCs.

What's wrong?

  • VZAccess Manager: If the PC770 Mobile Broadband Card is one of your primary wireless connection platforms, the VZAccess Manager software is great. It makes connecting to any wireless network, WiFi or Mobile Broadband, a snap. However, the software does add overhead to the system resources, which in the case of some netbooks, can cause problems. Make sure your PC has enough resources to handle the extra load.
  • Speed: While the mobile broadband speeds are significantly better than dial-up, they are not nearly as fast as standard WiFi connections. Users should understand the tradeoff between always accessible but slower and accessible sometimes, but faster.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

If you require access to the Internet and/or business network at all times, no matter the speed, then the Verizon Wireless PC770 Mobile Broadband Card is a good choice. Because it can access either the older Type II PCMCIA card slot or the newer ExpressCard slot, the PC770 can be used in older notebook PCs as well as brand new netbooks.

User rating

Have you encountered or used the Verizon Wireless PC770 Mobile Broadband Card? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

2 comments
Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Which slot is most prevalent in your organization for mobile broadband connections? Type II PCMCIA? ExpressCard? USB?

Erik
Erik

3 years ago when we first deployed broadband cards to our sales reps the majority of cards used a PCMCIA connection. In the last year most of those cards have been upgraded to USB style connections to standardize devices(getting rid of having to choose PCMCIA/Express). In the last 6 months I have upgraded 3 of our 20 cards to MiFi devices which connect to Sprint's network and broadcast a WiFi signal for laptops to authenticate with. I believe that the MiFi is the best option out there right now for cellular broadband in that you can connect via WiFi or via USB cable.