Asustek has announced the Asus T500 3.5G High Speed PC card, an ExpressCard slot peripheral that adds 3.5G data and phone capabilities to notebook PCs.
The T500 slots into the ExpressCard interface found on most current notebooks and when combined with a suitable SIM card and mobile phone subscription allows wireless data and phone access wherever there is cellular coverage. Asus claims that in some places the T500 offers better connectivity than Wi-Fi, and that it could be used in place of an ADSL or cable modem.
Transfer rates are given as 3.6Mbps download and 384kbps upload, but these would depend on the cellular network used to connect. Asus said that the T500 supports GSM and WCDMA networks.
The software accompanying the T500 allows users to access and manage contacts stored on the SIM card, as well as supporting synchronization with Outlook, noted Asus. Voice calls can also be made and logged via the software, and SMS messages can be sent and received.
There are similar products to the T500 already on the market, but most of these are in the form of a USB based external device. The T500 scores points by being ExpressCard slot based which means notebook users can just plug it into their system and not need to worry about extra cables.
Asus T500 High Speed PC card