Lucky Sascha Segan over at PC Magazine managed to get his hands on one of those new XU870 HSDPA ExpressCards from Novatel and put it through its paces on the Cingular BroadbandConnect network in New York City. Turns out that sexy combination of ExpressCard/34 and HSDPA will make all your dreams come true, and Sascha seemed plenty impressed with performance. The card bested Novatel's own U730 HSDPA PC Card in 15 out of 16 downloads, averaging between 736Kbps and 1.06Mbps, with three transfers managing to break the 1Mbps mark. Since Cingular caps upload speeds at 128Kbps, both cards were identical there, but the XU870 managed to keep an HSDPA signal in two tests where the U730 and LG CU500 phone had to settle for EDGE coverage. Other little details were nice as well, such as an easy to remove SIM card for swapping with your phone, a nice little fold-up antenna, multi-color LED light signal indicator, and a port for adding an external antenna to boost reception even more. With UMTS, HSDPA and EDGE compatibility, along with operation in the 850, 900, 1800, 1900 and 2100MHz bands, this thing will be plenty functional at home or abroad. All we're lacking is an official release from a certain #1 US carrier.

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Novatel XU870 HSDPA ExpressCard previewed