ZTE Peel 3200 joins Virgin Mobile's broadband bargain bin

If you own an iPod Touch, you know that finding a wifi hotspot in the outside world is more precious than gold. How much would it be worth to have such a treasure with you all of the time? Virgin Mobile thinks it's worth $100, the cost of the quietly-launched ZTE Peel 3200. If the name sounds familiar, that's because Sprint has been offering the 3G mobile-hotspot-in-a-case since November. The only difference between the two -- aside from the logos -- is the number that follows the dollar sign. Compared to Sprint's $80 offering, Virgin's model tragically demands a larger share of your wallet than its twin brother, and only offers one prepaid plan of 500 MB per month for $20. That's not too shabby if you're a casual user looking for a bargain, but it certainly isn't ideal for those of us data guzzlers who voraciously download every Engadget podcast. And we almost forgot the important part: the Peel will only fit on second and third-gen iPod Touch models, so take a quick glance at your device to make sure it's compatible before you click that "buy now" button.

[Thanks, Eli]