Users of previous-generation USB modems from Sprint and Verizon -- the gargantuan USB720 comes immediately to mind -- know that they're a little on the portly side (and that's being kind). If you're going to have this huge mass hanging off the side of your lappie, it'd be nice if you could at least pack some additional functionality into it, right? Novatel appears to have heard both complaints, offering up the new USB727 in a significantly more attractive package that's nearly an inch shorter and half an inch narrower than its predecessor. Oh, and the "additional functionality" comes in the form of an integrated microSD slot supporting cards up to 4GB, making you feel a little less bad about having an unsightly black object protrude from your PC's otherwise clean lines. Naturally, the USB727 -- known simply as the U727 on Sprint -- supports both networks' EV-DO Rev. A airwaves, promising downlink speeds in the range of 600kbps to 1.4Mbps and uplink at a brisk 350 to 500kbps (that's Sprint's claim, anyway; Verizon says 500 to 800kbps). Verizon customers can pick it up online immediately for $100 after rebate on a two-year contract while Sprint gets it next month for "as low as" $80 on contract.

Read - Verizon USB727
Read - Sprint U727 (press release)