updated 06:20 pm EDT, Mon May 30, 2011
Features Launch2Net Premium for software control
Berlin-based Nova Media have introduced a "surfstick" for Mac OS X made in conjunction with Belgium company Option called the iCON 461, a world-wide 3G data stick modem that is completely unlocked and can be used with most 2G or 3G networks around the world. The modem features an integrated GPS chip as well as a MicroSD card slot, enabling it to double as portable storage.
The iCON 461 comes with Launch2Net Premium for OS X, as well as a connection manager for Windows (uCan Connect), allowing the device to be used with both platforms. Launch2Net Premium includes an SMS message manager, a GPS control panel and the ability to act as a personal hotspot. The software features connection settings for most mobile network providers worldwide.
The device works with the 850/900/1900/2100 MHz frequencies, and supports HSPA (up to 7.2Mb per second downloading, 5.76Mb per second uploading), as well as 2G EDGE and GPRS connections (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) up to 220kb per second downloads and up to 120kb uploading. It also has a retractable USB connector that is slightly off-centered to allow access to other USB ports (MacBook Air owners will still need a USB extension cord to use it with their machines, however). A Windows-only version of the product without Launch2Net Premium is also available.
The iCON 461 requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.5.8 or higher, can support SDHC micro-cards up to 32GB, and needs an activated SIM card. The stick sells for approximately $256 (€179) including taxes and is available now from the company's website. The Windows-only version costs $213 (€149).