It’s In The Air, Man! The Internet’s IN The AIR!

Verizon V640 menu
I’m sitting in an NTB waiting for the service techs to finish patching up a seeping flat, typing away on my MacBook Pro, posting courtesy of the mega-sweet Verizon Wireless V640 Express Card. My employer has been buying the PCMCIA “CardBus” offerings from Verizon for a little while now and, though the cards are on a check-out/check-in procedure, we have been finding that our users are extremely reticent to utilize the “check-in” portion of that equation (read: people love the cards and don’t want to give ’em back). However, we MBP users have been largely left out in the cold, since Apple oh-so-wisely decided to æschew the PCMCIA standard and offer the MBPs (and MacBooks, I believe…) with a single Express Card slot.
Well, we got our first shipment of the V640, one of Verizon’s two Express Card offerings, yesterday and I “valiantly” offered to take one home and test it out. I was amazed at how dead-simple the install was – apparently Mac OS X 10.4.7 comes with the requisite drivers already available and so setting up the card and getting on-line was literally a three click process.
The speed is pretty amazing for a wireless service running over a CDMA network. Speakeasy’s speed test has me clocking in at ~975kbps down/~130kbps up, which ain’t too shabby for browsing the web. Pulling large files would be a bear, I’d imagine (I haven’t tested it out yet). I really have to say, though, for the dedicated traveler blessed with an Intel Mac laptop, this card is a very compelling product (well, as long as you don’t have to foot the bill for the $180 card and ~$70 per month service fee, that is. Let the office pay for it).
They had me in and out in under 20 minutes and didn’t charge me a dime – apparently they usually only tip the guys in the back for fixing flat tires (turns out those hosers at Just Tires did a slipshod job and only plugged a hole last time I had the tire looked at; NTB did me up right with a full-up patch). Sweet.