Review: Novatel Ricochet PC Card Modem

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

Go2Mac contributor and fellow presenter at last week’s S69: Your Wireless Future Shaun Redmond contributes the following review of the Novatel Ricochet PC card modem.


After spending a week running the Novatel Ricochet 128K PC card through it’s paces I can assure readers that it is more revolutionary than evolutionary. The new PC card form factor adds a whole new meaning to the word portable. Gone are the additional batteries, charger, velcro and adapter cables you need with any of the external Ricochet modems.

I am always a little leery of products that seem to show Mac OS support in a side note. No need to worry here. The installer CD has an easy to use installer that places the proper modem descriptions and an Ricochet status application in the requisite places on your hard drive. The instructions guide you through selecting the modem in your modem control panel and setting up a remote access configuration.

With no word of a lie I was up and running in two minutes. As we all know, things are not always the case with products that were only released three weeks ago. Connection speed was nothing short of spectacular with 12Kbyte/s to 20Kbyte/s the norm. Battery life on my PowerBook was the same as when I use my AirPort card. There is one gripe I have with the product and it concerns the antenna. The antenna is quite small and unobtrusive but it happens to occlude the PC card release button on my Pismo.

The solution is simple, pop the antenna out and then eject the card. This problem will not effect the new Titanium PowerBook because the PC card eject button is on the other side of the PC card slot. The design could be modified by Novatel to allow for the antenna to connect to either side of the card. At $299 this modem is a must have for the PowerBook user that works in one or more of the 21 metropolitan areas that have Ricochet coverage.

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