While I had to send back the Treo 750v I reviewed in January, it looks like Mitchell over at Gear Diary is keeping his. Sounds like we shared more than just the same handset, though; one of the concerns I had, and that Mitchell echoes, was that relying on the cellular data rather than having any sort of WiFi option would be a) slow and b) expensive. In my own experience it turned out to be plenty fast enough, and the convenience of not worrying about whether I was in router range made it all worthwhile; Mitchell on the other hand has been looking at other ways to get his 802.11 fix.
Spectec’s SDW-822 is a miniSDIO card that manages to fit an 802.11b chip into something the size of a postage stamp. Slotting it into the Treo – or anything else that supports the SDIO standard – brings fruity WiFi goodness to the mix, in this case popping a new wireless option into the connectivity menu.
So the good news is that it’s easy to set up and it works; what’s the downside? Well, despite it being a marvel of miniaturisation there’s still 5mm of stick-out. Might not sound like much, but it’s enough to stop the 750′s SD cover from closing, which makes it entirely possible that it could catch on a pocket or something and get snapped off. The fact that it’s only the ‘b’ flavour of WiFi supported is a shame, and Mitchell only managed 300-500Kbit throughput on his 10Mbit cable broadband.
Compared to the 600-800Kbit you can get with HSDPA, that’s not too impressive, and while real-world performance and range are satisfactory it’s perhaps most telling that Mitchell is planning to re-gift the SDW-822 to his Dad.
The SDW-822 is available now; contact Spectec for details.
Spectec SDW-811 miniSDIO WiFi Review [Gear Diary]