A whole lot of ultraportable laptops only have one PCMCIA slot, which means that expansion can be a chore. Helio’s new Hybrid card attempts to circumnavigate any compromises between wireless standards by simultaneously supporting WiFi and EVDO 3G.
Now if you’re anything like me, you might be thinking “but my laptop already has WiFi, so, um, why would I want this?” As far as I can tell, the value comes in the exclusive management software Helio bundles with the hardware – it seamlessly manages any number of 3G, paid-WiFi and free-WiFi connections through one, simple interface. That way you can pay for one monthly subscription (rather than, say, a separate 3G data plan and T-Mobile style WiFi hotspot service) and have access to thousands of hotspots, backed up by nationwide EVDO coverage.
Helio boast connectivity with over 55,000 commercial WiFi hotspots (in the Boingo Wireless network) and 3G in more than 220 major US markets – the software automatically selects the best connection, based on speed and signal strength, swapping between them seamlessly.
Available now from Fry’s Electronics and Helio’s own webstore, the Hybrid PC Card is free when you sign two years of your life away at $85 a month (not including the relevant taxes).
Helio [thanks to Justin for the info]