The world just became a little less of a cold, dead, meaningless (or at least data-less) wasteland for Sprint customers rocking ExpressCard slots (of either the /34 or /54 variety) thanks to the official release of Novatel's Merlin EX720 modem on Sprint's website. Riding atop Sprint's glorious EV-DO Rev. A airwaves, the EX720 should deliver up to 1.4Mbps down and 500kbps up to virtually any ExpressCard-equipped device that needs it (MacBook Pros included), provided that the requisite $179.99 (after contract and rebates) has been forwarded to the appropriate bean counters over at your network. We can almost picture Cingular and T-Mobile folks seething -- for what it's worth, we feel your pain -- but hey, Sprintheads, go get your WWAN on.

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Novatel's Merlin EX720 ExpressCard hits Sprint shelves