Option XYFI is 'world's smallest' personal hotspot -- we go hands-on!

Option's XYFI (pronounced ex-WiFi) was announced earlier this week with little fanfare but piqued our interest with its claim to being the world's smallest personal hotspot. We had an opportunity to look and discuss it at a quiet table at MWC today, a nice change from a showy booth. Option has been out of the data connectivity game in any significant way -- for what seems like forever -- in a segment it once led with some 70% of market share. The XYFI is indeed small and at first glance looks like a simple USB modem and not an access point that can support up to 8 people's roaming internet needs via WiFi or 3G connectivity. The USB plug swivels open in switchblade-style -- we found that little button somehow so soothing -- and then pops into your desktop for a quick 4-step setup. As you've likely sussed, the XYFI doesn't have a battery of its own but rather relies on a beautiful 4000mAh xpal adapter the Option device plugs into -- and once connected we're told you can expect about 8 hours of battery life. Option's other accessories for the XYFI include a plug for the car and AC adapter. We'll admit that Option has a steep hill to climb in the mobile hotspot world, but we're sold already. Pricing should be sub $100 for the XYFI alone and we'll be back with details on the accessories and launch date as soon as can. Gallery of this really sharp looking device follows.%Gallery-149031%