Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 EV-DO Modem Review

Posted: Jul 17 2007, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:12am CDT, in Reviews | Computer Hardware

 

Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 EV-DO Modem Review
/* Story Top Left 2010 300x250, created 7/15/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8340327155";
 

Benchmarks

Features & Specifications
The Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 is a USB EV-DO modem that in supported areas gives you broadband speeds without needing to be tied to a outlet or WiFi router. The Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 is small, measuring in at 3.4” x 1.5” x 0.7” and weighing 1.7 ounces. Sprint promises speeds of up 600 kbps to 1.4 Mbps in Rev A areas.

Setting the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 up requires the installation of the mobile broadband software and two vacant USB ports. The modem can operate from one USB port, but there may not be enough power for full speeds. A “Y” cable is included to allow connection to two USB ports at once. After the software is installed and the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 is plugged into the USB ports, you are ready to work or play.

Testing & Use
Last year I had a chance to test the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 in Las Vegas during CES and found the speeds to be very slow, dial up slow. In my local non-Rev A area, speeds are lethargic to say the least clocking in at a measly 2 kbps. However, last week in LA at E3 I used the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 extensively and found the speeds were fantastic reaching into the 600 kbps range as promised even inside my hotel.

I could tell I wasn’t connected to my wired home network where I routinely hit 1.5 Mbps download, but the speeds I was able to achieve in L.A. were more than fast enough for me to work without irritation and with fast enough uploads and downloads to make mobile uploading of images and files doable.

Even with speeds in my local area of only 2 kbps, slow speeds are better than no connection at all. So long as you can get a cellular signal wherever your travels take you, you can get a web connection with the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720.

You can use the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 on a single USB port, but the modem was thicker than my Acer TravelMate 4404 WLMi notebook, which resulted in the notebook resting on the modem on one end. This would naturally put the USB connector in a bind leading to possible damage and reduced life span. Sprint recommends that you get the modem away from your computer for reduced inference and increased speeds, so using the included “Y” cable is highly recommended as is using two USB ports.

The Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 is also GPS enabled and with the latest software it enables you to use the locate and search feature, which plots your position on a map and searches for nearby points of interest. Compatibility for the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 is with Windows XP/2000 and Vista with the most recent software. Mac OS.X version 10.4 and higher is compatible as well.

Pricing for the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 is $249.99 regular price but frequently after rebates and discounts you can get the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 for around $50 plus the service plan.

Verdict

Conclusion

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Fast speeds in EV-DO Rev A areas

Cons

  • Super slow speeds in non EV-DO Rev A areas

Verdict
If you are after a mobile broadband connection and are in a Sprint EV-DO Rev A area the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 is simply a fantastic device. However, if you live in a rural area or one that lacks Rev A service be prepared for slower than dial up access speeds. In short, if you don’t live in an EV-DO Rev A area the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 is nearly worthless in my testing.

8.0
10
 

This story may contain affiliate links.

Comments

The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.

 

 

Advertisement

Latest News

comments powered by Disqus